Ghana's No. 1

Barcelona delay over Lautaro... and risk losing him

Published on: 06 June 2020

Over the past few days, weeks and months, Barcelona have pursued Lautaro Martinez.

However, just as the Catalan club seem to be making some progress, the transfer is held up for one reason or another.

The Blaugrana moved very quickly for the Argentine striker and put themselves in pole position to sign him, knowing that the player's wish was to play alongside Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou.

Inter had previously been in talks with others, like Manchester United and Real Madrid, but Lautaro's Plan A always lay at Barcelona.

The prospective signing of Luis Suarez's successor was given the green light by the Uruguayan himself, as well as Messi.

Lautaro himself has agreed to the move in principal, but there are still issues with his bonuses that need to be sorted out.

Barcelona also need to work out how they're going to afford the transfer given their financial situation.

The club will have lost out on 150 million euros in income by the end of June due to the coronavirus pandemic and now president Josep Maria Bartomeu is asking the players to take another pay cut for next season to fill that hole.

It could be that Barcelona line up a deal to sign Lautaro so that, if they can convince their players to take another pay cut, they can seal the signing.

This is a dangerous plan, however, given the unrest a 100 million euro signing could cause amongst the squad.

All these indecisions leave the door open for other clubs, with Real Madrid keeping an eye on the situation.

Manchester United met with Lautaro's agents a few weeks ago and are looking for a striker, while Liverpool have lost out on Timo Werner.

Manchester City have ruled themselves out of the race, but the interest from other clubs could drive the player's price tag upwards of his 111 million euro release clause.

Cash plus players

In order to meet Inter's valuation of Lautaro, Barcelona could table a bid worth 70 million euros in cash plus one or two players.

Many members of Setien's squad have been offered to the Italian club, with Junior Firpo the most likely to make the switch.

If the left-back were to become part of the deal, another player would have to be included to reach Inter's valuation.

"There is only one way of prising Lautaro Martinez away from Inter... and that's paying his release clause," said Inter sporting director, Piero Ausilio.

On top of this, Barcelona have to generate 70 million euros in player sales before June 30 in order to balance their books for this season.

If they include players in a deal to sign Lautaro, either before June 30 or after July 1, their values would count towards that 70 million figure.

The same goes for their pursuits of Miralem Pjanic and Mattia de Sciglio, but Juventus' main desire was Arthur Melo, who has ruled out leaving the Camp Nou this summer.

It seems as though the race to sign Lautaro will be a long one and one which many thought Barcelona were favourites to win. Now, it's not so certain.

Source: m.allfootballapp.com

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