According to a recent report by the Argentine news outlet Ole, Barcelona are ‘very close’ to sealing a move for Inter Milan centre-forward Lautaro Martinez in this off-season. The same source has also revealed that following weeks of negotiations between the two clubs; there are only a few details left to be agreed for the transfer to take place this summer. It is understood that the Catalans are working on a record-breaking cash-plus-player deal to recruit the Argentine striker. However, the identity of the Barca player moving on the other direction is yet to be disclosed (via Ole).
Martinez’s Brilliant Spell At The San Siro
The Bahia Blanca-born marksman has enjoyed a sensational campaign in Italy so far after striking up a productive attacking partnership with Romelu Lukaku in the opposition half. He has produced several mesmerising displays for Antonio Conte’s side this term which has enhanced his reputation in Italian football. However, his excellent contributions going forward have not been enough for Inter to keep pace with Juventus and Lazio at the top of the Serie A standings.
Martinez has netted 16 goals and provided four assists in 31 appearances for the Milan outfit this season in all competitions. He has established himself as a reliable goal-getter, which explains why a top club like Barcelona are hoping to bring him to the Nou Camp this summer.
The ex-Racing Club forward has averaged 3.9 shots, 0.9 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per game in the Serie A during this campaign. However, he has produced slightly better numbers in the UEFA Champions League where he has averaged 4.2 shots, 1.2 key passes and 1.2 dribbles in every 90 minutes of the six European matches he has participated in so far (stats via whoscored).
Martinez has also secured 17 international caps for the Argentine national side and has got nine senior goals to his name for his country. He will be expected to assume a crucial role for his homeland when the Copa America takes place in the summer of 2021 following the competition’s postponement because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
What Will The Argentine International Bring To Catalonia?
Martinez can use his pace and agility to make some dangerous runs in behind the opposition backline. He can also use his upper-body strength to outmuscle the opposition in the air and win a lot of 50-50 aerial duels. The Argentine starlet has transformed himself into a complete centre-forward as he has got a bit of everything in his game.
He also packs a lot of venom with his strikes that have made him such a lethal weapon inside the opposition penalty box. However, Martinez can work on improving his link-up play as he can sometimes be a bit sloppy with his ball-distribution as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 59.5% in the Serie A this season (stats via whoscored).
Barca boss Quique Setien needs to sign a new striker this summer so that he can replace the ageing Luis Suarez in the long-run. Ousmane Dembele has not been able to live up the growing expectations surrounding his arrival at the Nou Camp as he has been plagued with injuries throughout most of his time in Spain.
Antoine Griezmann has also struggled to find consistency in terms of his all-around performances as a centre-forward. The emergency arrival of Martin Braithwaite earlier this year seems like a panic buy which has enhanced Setien’s need to recruit a new forward this summer.
Acquiring Martinez’s services could prove to be a dream move for the Catalan giants as he will not only add a lot of goals to the Barca frontline but also increase the overall quality of their first-team. Lionel Messi can benefit from some added help going forward, so there would be no one better than his international compatriot Martinez at the moment as he would help Barca challenge for even more trophies in the coming seasons.