Barcelona President Insists Club Could Still Sign Lautaro Martinez

Lautaro Martinez
Lautaro Martinez could still move to Barcelona, according to the club's president | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona could still sign Lautaro Martinez after the culmination of this season's Champions League, according to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Martinez enjoyed a fruitful season for Inter, registering 19 goal involvements in 35 Serie A games and forming a prolific partnership with Romelu Lukaku.

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Lukaku and Martinez have performed well for Inter this season | MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Barca had earmarked the 22-year-old as the player capable of freshening up their ageing forward line. However, their lengthy pursuit of the Argentine was brought to an end publicly in July when Bartomeu revealed that the coronavirus pandemic had led to the club reassessing their transfer strategy.

Now, the Blaugrana president has completed a dramatic U-turn, revealing that Barca would attempt to reignite the deal at the end of the season.

"The move is completely on hold. When the Champions League is over, we'll speak with Inter. Right now we're more focused on the games coming up," Bartomeu said (via Sport).

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Martinez's arrival could lead to Barcelona selling several players to balance the books with both Francisco Trincao and Pedri linked with moves away. The young pair are attracting interest from Leicester and Bayern Munich respectively but Bartomeu insisted they would not be leaving.

"Neither Pedri nor Trincao are for sale. Araujo, Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati aren't either because we are creating a new generation," he said.

The 57-year-old was speaking before Barça's crunch tie against Napoli on Saturday. The two sides are facing off for a place in the Champions League quarter finals with the scores level at 1-1.

Francisco Trincao
Trincao has been linked with a move to Premier League side Leicester recently | Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Defeat would see the Catalan giants surrender their final chance for silverware this season. They have already lost their La Liga title to Clasico rivals Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao knocked them out of the Copa del Rey back in February.

Their poor performances off the field have been accompanied by plenty of boardroom turmoil with a presidential election scheduled for next summer. Bartomeu has been heavily criticised for his running of the club and will not seek reelection.