Inter VP Javier Zanetti Insists There Are No Talks With Barcelona Over Lautaro Martinez

Mitchell Wilks
Lautaro Martinez is 'happy' at Inter according to Zanetti
Lautaro Martinez is 'happy' at Inter according to Zanetti / Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images
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Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti has insisted that Barcelona are not in talks with the Italian side over a transfer for striker Lautaro Martinez.

The Argentine forward has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona for over a year, but financial issues and off-field instability at Camp Nou have halted a summer approach.

Newly instated manager Ronald Koeman is looking to put his own stamp on the Barça squad, with several big-name stars expected to leave in the coming weeks, as part of a summer of transition.

Lautaro has scored 30 goals in 84 games since joining Inter in July 2018
Lautaro has scored 30 goals in 84 games since joining Inter in July 2018 / Pool/Getty Images

Recent reports say that amid the squad overhaul, prompted by Barcelona's humiliating end to the 2019/20 season, the club are still preparing one last bid for key target Martinez.

However, Zanetti has attempted to shut down speculation in an interview with Argentine TV show Libero, saying: "At the moment, there are no negotiations between Inter and Barcelona. We're happy with him and I know he's happy here too.

"He knows that he's at a great club and that he's improving a lot thanks to the coach [Antonio Conte]."

Meanwhile, according to transfer reported Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona are now resigned to missing out on the Inter striker this window and have accepted their fate, who states that there is 'no chance' for a deal to be done in 2020.

Instead, it is said that the club will focus their efforts on Lyon forward Memphis Depay - a player Koeman knows well from the Dutch national team.

Finding a new striker of some description appears to be an area of priority for Barcelona, before the window closes in October.

Memphis Depay in action for the Netherlands against Italy
Memphis Depay in action for the Netherlands against Italy / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

While Lionel Messi has agreed to remain at Camp Nou for at least another year, Barça's front line options are somewhat depleted.

33-year-old Luis Suarez is poised to leave for Juventus, with Koeman eager to get the veteran's extortionate wages off the club's accounts. His exit will leave Martin Braithwaite and Antoine Griezmann as Koeman's only centre forward options.

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