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FC Barcelona: Luis Suarez Must Be Sold In Order To Sign Lautaro Martinez

Luis Suarez must be sold in order for FC Barcelona to sign Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan, it has been claimed.

At the weekend, in a wide-ranging interview with SPORT, president Josep Bartomeu said, “Barça have spoken to Inter about Lautaro over the last few weeks but the conversations have been put on hold by mutual consent.”

“The current situation doesn’t allow for major transfer fees,” he protested, in a reference to how revenues have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic at the Camp Nou.

Also admitting that a move for Neymar to return from PSG was “unfeasible”, Bartomeu explained that “the club lost €200mn between March and June. And in the 2020/2021 season, we expected to raise €1.1 billion, but surely we will have 30 percent less.” 

“If the pandemic situation does not improve, there will be no crowd [at the games], no museum, no stores, and money will continue to be lost. It forces us to be very rigorous in management: we must review which investments are essential and which can wait. You have to adapt,” he added.

As relayed yesterday, the Blaugrana are faced with the prospect of having to offload six players in order to sign new ones to join Pedri, Francisco Trincao, Matheus Fernandes and Miralem Pjanic.

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Namely, the potential exits included Philippe Coutinho, Rafinha, Martin Braithwaite, Jean-Clair Todibo, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele, while Nelson Semedo’s name was also mentioned.

Luis Suarez’s wasn’t however, and in a shock report over at Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday morning, it is alleged that Barça must make a choice between “the Uruguayan or the Argentine”.

Suarez linked to a move to the MLS, FC Barcelona’s third all-time top scorer is adamant on sticking around until his contract expires in 2021, and can even have his tenure extended for another year if featuring in 60 per cent of next term’s matches under Quique Setien.

In which case, then, if Suarez cannot be persuaded to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami prematurely, the Catalans will wait another year to approach Martinez, which then leads you to wonder if El Pistolero will be underplayed so as not to automatically renew for a further 12 months.

In any case, the senior number 9 has offered to help his potential successor bed in. “If he comes, I am here to help him,” the 33-year-old promised Mundo Deportivo. “He is a young player who also needs to have experienced people at his side. It is not easy to come to Barça and play like [it is] nothing. One must learn different concepts that one is not used to. I am always there to help all the new players, be it a ‘9’, a winger or whatever.”

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