Barca to offer cash-plus-player deal to Inter for Martinez

Club crest of Serie A side Inter

Barcelona will try to tempt Inter into selling Lautaro Martinez by including Junior Firpo in their offer for the Argentine, it’s been reported.

The Daily Mail cites a claim from Catalan outlet Sport that says Firpo will be offered to Inter as part of the approach for Martinez, who is high on La Blaugrana’s wish list for the summer.

If Martinez did join Barca, he’d become the latest player to represent both clubs – a group that includes the likes of Brazil World Cup winner Ronaldo, Samuel Eto’o, who won the Champions League at both Inter and Barca and Luis Figo, who played for Real Madrid in between and ended his career with the Nerazzurri.

It’s believed that if Inter pass on Firpo, he will still have suitors in Serie A. Roma, Napoli and Torino are all mentioned as potential destinations for the left-back, with a fee of £18m mooted. That would represent a small profit for Barca, dependant on which bonuses have been triggered in his time at the club.

Firpo has been a Barca player since summer 2019, when he moved to Catalonia from Real Betis. Barca reportedly paid £16.2m for the Dominican Republic-born full-back, with a possible £9m to come in add-ons. Firpo made his way to Betis after moving from the Dominican Republic to Spain as a child, with his family settling in the Malaga region. He signed for Betis as an 18-year-old and progressed through the B team, making his first team debut in February 2018.

The 23-year-old has made 17 appearances for Barcelona this season, vying with Jordi Alba for the left-back sport first under Ernesto Valverde and now Quique Setien. Firpo also has four caps for the Spain Under-21 side.

Martinez, meanwhile, moved to Inter in 2018, having come through the ranks at Racing Club in his native Argentina. The 22-year-old had netted 16 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions prior to the coronavirus-enforced postponement of all football, helping Inter to third place in the Serie A table.

Should Martinez make the move to Camp Nou, he would join Martin Braithwaite, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele among the forward options available to coach Setien.

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