FC Barcelona are believed to have made a €115 million star their main target for the next transfer window, but Real Madrid have now joined the chase, and have reportedly already offered him a massive contract.
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Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez has attracted interest from Barcelona, who reportedly see him as the perfect replacement for the ageing Luis Suarez.
With the 33-year-old Uruguayan currently injured, Barca were keen to lure Martinez to the Camp Nou in January, but the Nerazzurri did not want to let him leave mid-season, and the Spanish side could not afford to pay his whopping €115 million (R1.85 billion) clause.
However, while it is said they are still keeping a close eye on the Argentine with a view to a bid at the end of the season, things have now seemingly become more difficult as their bitter rivals Real have seemingly entered the fray.
According to Marca, who cited Argentine media outlet TYC Sports, Los Blancos are willing to pay the 22-year-old's release clause, and have already offered him a massive deal.
Real have reportedly followed Martinez since his time with Racing Club, and were also considering signing him ahead of the current campaign, but opted go for Luka Jovic instead.
However, they want to secure a long-term replacement for Karim Benzema, and Jovic has failed to fulfil expectations thus far.
Another advantage for Real is the fact that Barcelona reportedly have to generate €120 million (R1.93 billion) in sales before June in order to balance their books.
Martinez, meanwhile, is thriving in Italy this season, having netted 16 goals in 28 games for Inter thus far.
Barcelona or Real – who do you think will win the race for Martinez? Have your say in the comments section below.