If the reports are to be trusted, the saga of Lautaro Martinez’s transfer to FC Barcelona is going on since March 2020. 

However, Inter’s sporting director Piero Ausilio has potentially put an end to this back and forth between the two clubs. 

During a recent interview with Sky Sports Italia, he clarified that Martinez could only leave if Inter gets the maximum return on “investment” they made on him.

What Inter Director Piero Ausilio Says About Lautaro’s Transfer to Barcelona?

Ausilio, during the interview, spoke on many topics regarding the future market of the club, individual players, and potential transfer targets. However, the most compelling part of the interview was when he spoke about Martinez’s situation.

On the topic of Martinez saga, he remained adamant about the transfer strategy adopted by Inter. He emphasized that he was not willing to devalue Martinez’s market value.

We are not currently discussing the Lautaro theme with anyone. We simply focus on him, he is an important asset of the club.

Ausilio revealed that many clubs had been in contact with Inter for the signature of Martinez. He added, “Among these, the most determined one, with which we have a friendly and cordial relationship, is Barcelona.”

Speaking further about Barcelona’s interest and negotiation attempts, he clarified that Barcelona knew about their ‘intentions’ regarding Lautario.

 I don't hide this. And I know that Barcelona knows perfectly well what are our intentions. Inter are not going to sell Lautaro Martinez.

Then he went on to talk about Martinez’s release clause and other technical things regarding his transfer. He insisted that the only way possible for the player to leave Inter was through the fulfillment of his release clause. 

As far as Martinez is concerned, there is only one way that can take him away from Inter is that of paying a clause — A clause that everyone knows, there is no point in hiding, is a demanding clause, because it has both deadlines and commitments that must be kept very precise.

He also alluded to the fact that Martinez’s release clause activation date was expiring on the 7th of July this summer.

Will Director Piero Ausilio’s Comments Impact Barcelona Transfer Interest For Lautario? 

The inflexible comments from the Inter's sporting director mean that FC Barcelona has a little more than a month to get the funds required to release Martinez from his current contract. The contract lasts till the 30th of June 2023, as per Transfermarkt.

Sky Sports Italia had previously reported in April about a unique clause in Lautaro Martinez’s Inter contract. The clause explains that the transfer value of  €111 million is valid for the clubs outside Italy. As per its terms, the player’s release clause could only be activated within the first two weeks of every July. Upon activation, the whole amount must be paid within a week.

How F.C. Barcelona Might Handle Lautaro Martinez Transfer?

With this interview, Ausilio has emphasized that FC Barcelona must pay Martinez’s full transfer price if they wish to sign him. However, Barcelona might not be worried, not even a little bit, about the expiry of the striker’s release clause. 

Just two days after Ausilio’s interview, Catalan outlet Mundo Deportivo came out with a stunning claim. An article, published on the 29th of May on the magazine suggested that Barcelona wasn’t worried about the expiration of Martinez’s release clause. The article theme was that Inter would be forced to enter into negotiations for the striker once his release clause expires.

According to the article, Lautaro Martinez will have a negotiable market price once the first two weeks of July pass. And due to the current economic situation, Inter will have to enter negotiations because they will have diminished motivation to keep him. Similarly, if by any chance he stays at Inter, he will likely want to seek better opportunities in the next season.

It may thus be a pristine condition for Barcelona to adopt a wait and see strategy so that Inter would give up and agree on a deal with Barcelona consisting of around €70 million and a player of Inter’s choice. 

However, such an assumption from anyone is just wishful thinking and absurd at best. It is stupid to think that Inter will negotiate further when they have clearly said that they want his release clause to be paid in full.

In addition to this, Martinez’s contract will only expire in 2023 (he still hasn’t agreed on a new deal being offered by Inter). That’s why he won’t be going anywhere at present if Inter remains adamant.

What If Barcelona Made a Swap Deal With Internazionale Milano?

As of now, it seems that Inter isn’t convinced of a swap deal Barcelona might have offered to offload its less promising stars.

Therefore, there only remains two viable ways through which FC Barcelona may land Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan. The first one is to pay €111 million in full. If that’s not possible, the other idea is to offer a premium swap deal. The structure of such a deal may have two distinct structural bases: the first one may involve hefty cash plus one of the high-profile stars such as Griezmann and the second strategy may be to offer a string of players plus cash. The second strategy seems to be under discussion now. Spanish outlet Diario Sport has hinted the two clubs are currently discussing the possibility of a €60 million cash deal plus two Barcelona players (Junior Firpo and Semedo). 

However, Barcelona may choose to get a discounted value for Martinez in the next season, hoping that his reduced contract tenure may lower his transfer value. Even then, the likes of Manchester City and other giants are likely to offer far more salary and transfer value to him as compared to Barcelona. 

As reported by Forbes in April 2020, Inter was ready to double his current salary of €2 million, whereas Barcelona wanted to pay less than €6.89. The figure was significantly less from €9.85 million the Premier League giants such as Chelsea, and Manchester City could have offered. 

Then, there is a dimension of outstanding payment to the two former clubs of Lautaro Martinez—Racing Club de Avellaneda and Liniers de Bahia Blanca—if his transfer materializes. It has added to Inter’s firmness on not reducing his transfer value.

Spanish Media Outlet Diaro Sports Reports Lautaro and Barcelona Deal

Amidst rumors and controversies, Spanish media outlet Diaro Sport reported in the first week of June 2020 that Lautaro martinez and Barcelona had agreed to a five-year deal with a pay package of €12 million-plus bonuses. If the report turns out to be true, it could be concluded that Barcelona has upped its interest in Martinez by agreeing to a higher salary package.

In the meantime, Spanish journalist Francesc Aguilar is now claiming that Martinez has had a conversation with Inter coach Antonio Conte about his desire to join Barcelona.

Reports Claim Manchester United, Real Madrid and Liverpool Join the Race

Various media outlets are now reporting that the failure of Inter and Barcelona to agree to a deal regarding Lautrao Martinez has reignited the interest of the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Liverpool