Opinion: Serie A giants wait for Barcelona’s £98m bid – Should the La Liga giants go for it?

Should Barcelona splash the cash to sign £98m star Lautaro Martinez?

According to Sky Sports Inter Milan are waiting to see if Barcelona are going to activate the £98m release clause of Lautaro Martinez. However, their chief executive has stressed on the fact that they aren’t keen on selling the player unless the valuation is met.

Inter Milan will be very keen to hold on to the young striker, with them already having sold Mauro Icardi to French giants PSG after the club decided to make the loan move into a permanent one.

Sky Sports have stated that Barcelona are interested in working out an exchange deal which would see right-back Nelson Semado and central defender Samuel Umtiti move to Intern Milan in exchange of Lautaro Martinez.

Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez celebrates after scoring. (Getty Images)

How would Lautaro Martinez fit in at Barcelona?

The 22-year-old striker is highly rated and has put up a great performance scoring 16 goals so far this season, thereby showing the potential to become a hot prospect.

Martinez has shown great power and pace that can out-do defenders. He has shown throughout the season that he can get into interesting positions and exploit spaces and by doing so, create opportunities and space for his teammates.

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So where and how would Martinez fit into the side? The heat map below shows that Martinez spends most of the time in the final third, which is very similar to Luis Suarez. Having said that, the forward can use his pace and power to exploit spaces. This will ensure that it creates a path for Messi.

HEAT MAP FOR THE TWO PLAYERS

At Inter, Martinez has always shown the willingness to run and contributes to the team’s pressing. This would be very favourable for Barcelona.

Another advantage for Barcelona is that Messi and Martinez have played together for the national side. They could link up well and Martinez could also link up with Griezmann or Suarez if Messi continues to drop deep as he most often does.

Verdict

Barcelona would benefit a lot if they sign Martinez as Suarez’s long-term heir to Suarez. However, the release clause is quite steep and it remains to be seen if the Catalans would be able to spend that big amidst the financial crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Azhar Mohamed