• Barca have to meet Martinez's release clause by  July 7
  • Martinez's transfer fee is said to be around $124m
  • Inter are trying to do everything to retain their player for next season

FC Barcelona will lose a chance to sign Lautaro Martinez if they do not meet his release clause of $124 million by July 7.

Martinez, who currently plays for Inter Milan, has been among Barcelona’s top targets ahead of the transfer market alongside Neymar. Even though the Italian side does not want to sell the forward, Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has admitted that there is little they can do if Barcelona match Martinez’s release clause this summer.

“We want to strengthen the team structure of which Lautaro is an important element, young, very keen, and from talent, he is now becoming a true champion,” Marotta added.

He went on to acknowledge the efforts of Inter’s manager, Antonio Conte, and hailed the latter’s soccer skills.

“This thanks to the work of [Antonio] Conte, of the club and himself. He has proven to have great football and professional skills. So much to recognize now that his path has not reached the peak yet and that he can still grow more with us,” he said, as per Sky Sports.

Making himself very clear about Martinez’s transfer possibility, Marotta further added, "Inter does not want to sell, but to buy as big clubs do and we want to follow this line. There is a clause and it ends on July 7. We'll see what Barcelona want to do and then we will see what he wants. Today it is important that he is focused and ready to give his contribution to everyone's satisfaction."

Barcelona played Las Palmas in an empty Camp Nou in October 2017.
Barcelona played Las Palmas in an empty Camp Nou in October 2017. AFP / JOSE JORDAN

The report further stated that while the Catalans had offered Inter Nelson Semedo and Samuel Umtiti as a part of the deal to reduce Martinez’s asking price, Inter have rejected that offer saying they are not open to any kind of bargain in the Argentinian's transfer.

Martinez, who joined Inter Milan ahead of the 2018-19 season, has so far scored 25 goals in as many as 66 appearances for the San Siro side. In the ongoing 2019-20 season, Martinez has chipped in with 11 goals in 22 Serie A games, while Inter Milan are placed third in the league table, nine points behind leaders Juventus.