Barcelona and Inter Milan have been negotiating over Lautaro Martinez for weeks. The Catalan club wants the Argentine striker, who has a fixed release clause.
By throwing different combinations of their squad players on the Italian side, Barcelona is trying to lower his cost. This may ultimately prove effective, at least in knocking off the final fee of €20 m or so, depending on which members of the bloated Barca squad Inter have an interest in.
But Sport today notes that Antonio Conte’s side now wants a side deal for Arturo Vidal to be negotiated.
Vidal is past 30 and has a contract that ends next summer. This makes him a low-value target. Inter apparently wants to conclude a cheap, separate side-deal for the former Juventus man, instead of allowing his value to become inflated as a member of a Martinez part-exchange deal.
It’s a clever idea, in all honesty, and Barca will be cursing their luck they haven’t managed to smuggle the Chilean star out of the club as part of their dream forward package.