Rumour Has It: Barcelona back in frame for Lautaro Martinez

By Sports Desk April 17, 2022

Lautaro Martinez was very close to joining Barcelona from Inter Milan two years ago.

The Blaugrana and the Argentina international had reached a personal agreement, but the financial consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered any possibility for the former to make any transfer happen.

As ever, though, circumstances in football change and according to reports, they have changed in a way that would allow Barca to finally get the Martinez deal over the line.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA IN FRAME FOR LAUTARO

Barcelona are back in the running to sign Inter's Lautaro Martinez, according to reports from Sport.

The 24-year-old is increasingly likely to leave the reigning Serie A champions, but it appears the club would be willing to lower their asking price in exchange for players as part of a package deal.

Inter have shown interest in Miralem Pjanic and Memphis Depay, two players who appear to be surplus to requirements in a rebuild under Xavi at the Catalan giants.

Martinez, who has provided 15 goals and three assists in 28 league appearances this season, is seen as a more affordable alternative to Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski.

 

ROUND-UP

– Liverpool are eyeing Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsey to provide depth for Trent Alexander-Arnold, the Sun reports.

Paris Saint-Germain are ready to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino in order to hire Zinedine Zidane as their head coach, per Le Parisien.

– Corriere dello Sport is reporting Roma would consider an offer of €60million (£49.6m) for highly-rated 22-year-old Nicolo Zaniolo, as interest from Serie A and Premier League clubs looms.

– Juventus are prepared to offer for Chelsea's Jorginho, with the Turin giants seeking to bolster their midfield next season, according to Tuttosport.

– Chelsea are willing to let 28-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku go with Inter and PSG interested, per 90Min.

Related items

  • Monaco 'convinced' by Minamino qualities as Liverpool forward closes on move Monaco 'convinced' by Minamino qualities as Liverpool forward closes on move

    Monaco head coach Philippe Clement hopes Takumi Minamino can bring new qualities to his side as the Liverpool forward closes on a move to Ligue 1.

    Minamino is widely expected to join Monaco in the coming days, with the club reportedly agreeing a €13.3million (£15.5m) deal to sign the Japan international.

    The forward has scored four goals in 30 Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining from Salzburg in 2020, but he started only five of those games as he struggled for regular minutes in Jurgen Klopp's star-studded side, spending half a season on loan at Southampton.

    Ahead of Monaco's 1-0 friendly win over Cercle Brugge on Sunday, Clement revealed Minamino was set to complete his move to the principality and affirmed his belief in the 27-year-old's ability.

    "I'm very happy, I've known him for a long time," Clement said of Minamino. "He was very high on our list. Everyone here is convinced that he has the qualities to bring something to the team.

    "He already has experience and has done a lot of good things at Salzburg, in a style close to ours, just like at Liverpool where there is a lot of competition. That's why this is an opportunity."

    Monaco ended the 2021-22 season third in Ligue 1, having finished the previous campaign in the same position.

  • Capello labels Pioli and Mourinho Serie A's finest, calls Inter's Lukaku move a 'blow' for rivals Capello labels Pioli and Mourinho Serie A's finest, calls Inter's Lukaku move a 'blow' for rivals

    Stefano Pioli and Jose Mourinho confirmed their status as Serie A's best coaches by leading Milan and Roma to silverware last season, according to former Rossoneri and Giallorossi boss Fabio Capello.

    Capello also claimed Inter's prospective move for Romelu Lukaku represents a "blow" for the rest of the Italian top flight, given his dominant displays during his successful first spell with the Nerazzurri. 

    While Pioli became the first Milan boss to win the Scudetto since Massimiliano Allegri in 2010-11 last month, Mourinho ended Roma's 14-year trophy drought by winning the Europa Conference League in his first season with the club.

    Capello, who led Milan to four Serie A titles in five seasons between 1991 and 1996 before masterminding Roma's most recent Scudetto triumph in 2000-01, hailed the duo's achievements as he declared next season will be make-or-break for many of the division's other top coaches. 

    "The best? Pioli and Mourinho," he told Il Messaggero. 

    "The first brought Milan back to success, the second confirmed himself as an international coach. Jose achieved a very important success. 

    "[Juventus coach] Allegri, [Lazio's Maurizio] Sarri and [Napoli's Luciano] Spalletti paid for their return to Serie A. They were granted a transitional season. Now will be the moment of truth."

    Meanwhile, with Inter reportedly set to re-sign Lukaku less than a year after his club-record £97.5million move to Chelsea, a series of Italian football's biggest names have spoken about his expected impact.

    Milan legend Alessandro Costacurta said on Sunday the deal would make Inter title favourites, while Gianfranco Zola claimed the Belgian will make a "huge impact" for Simone Inzaghi's men after he scored 30 goals for the Nerazzurri in the 2020-21 campaign.

    Capello concurred with those views, adding: "Lukaku is a great blow because in Italy, no one is able to mark him because of his excessive physical power."

    However, while Milan are expected to work with a smaller budget than their rivals as they look to defend their crown, Capello hailed their recruitment policy and revealed his confidence that they can compete once more.

    "I don't put my mouth on the market because these topics are the responsibility of the coaches," he added. 

    "The experience of recent years leads me, however, to say that we must have confidence. At Milan, they have learned how to handle things, and they know how to choose [players]."

  • Courtois celebrates Champions League final heroics with brick wall tattoo Courtois celebrates Champions League final heroics with brick wall tattoo

    Thibaut Courtois has commemorated his man-of-the-match performance in the Champions League final after unveiling a tattoo of a brick wall on his arm.

    The Belgium international produced an inspired display between the sticks as Real Madrid edged out Liverpool 1-0 at Stade de France to claim their 14th continental crown.

    Courtois' nine saves during the match made up the highest tally in a single Champions League final since at least 2003-04, surpassing Liverpool's Allison (in 2019) and Manchester United's Edwin Van der Sar (in 2011), both with eight.

    He also set a new benchmark with the number of saves he made during Madrid's run (59)

    The Reds finished the final having attempted 24 shots, the most on record from a team who failed to score in European football's showpiece match.

    It stands to reason then that Courtois should want something to remember the final by, and he has settled on a new tattoo, revealed to his 10.5 million Instagram followers.

    The design has Courtois' initials and shirt number set against a brick wall next to the Champions League trophy.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.