Lautaro Martinez has revealed that he intends to sign a new contract with Inter Milan and stay with the club for years to come.
The Argentinian striker was heavily linked with Barcelona last summer. The Catalans were searching far and wide for a potential successor to the ageing Luis Suarez at the time, and Lautaro was seen as the perfect candidate for the role. They tried to negotiate a deal that would suit their interests, but Inter refused to hold any talks on the matter and pointed exclusively to the release clause in Lautaro’s contract, set at €111 million.
The amount was considered too big even before the full financial implications of the ongoing pandemic were revealed, and now it’s practically impossible for Barcelona to pay that much money for any player.
Lautaro admitted the interest from Barcelona in his services was real, as well as that he himself wasn’t opposed to the move going through. However, he now says that the whole story is in the past now, that he has informed Inter head coach Antonio Conte of his commitment and undivided focus on the project at the club, and that he will sign a new contract soon, even though his current one does not expire for two more years.
The 23-year-old has so far made 33 appearances in all competitions for the Nerazzurri this term, scoring 15 goals and assisting seven. He obviously remains an important parrt of Conte’s plans.
“I’m not leaving Inter in the summer. I’m gonna extend the contract soon and my plan is to stay here for a long time”, Lautaro told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Yes, Barcelona wanted me one year ago… and that was my way. But I said to Antonio Conte: ‘Don’t worry, I’m focused on Inter plans’. And now Barça for me is only the past, I will stay at Inter”.