KEY POINTS

  • Lautaro Martinez has reportedly agreed to a deal with Barcelona F.C.
  • Inter Milan prefers a cash deal rather than a player-swap for Lautaro Martinez
  • Barcelona needs to find a taker for Philippe Coutinho to raise funds for Martinez

Barcelona is closer than ever to getting Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan, with reports that both have agreed in principle. But the club may need to offload Philippe Coutinho first to make this deal happen.

Reports of Martinez verbally agreeing to a deal with Barcelona comes from ESPN. However, the move is far from done. Inter Milan has yet to respond if it is willing to deal away the Argentine football player. I Nerazzurri prefers to keep Martinez in the fold and will make it hard for any club to pry the 22-year-old striker away from San Siro.

Inter is reportedly not interested in engaging in a player-swap with Barca. The club is only willing to negotiate for cash, meaning the Catalan giants may have to offload some of their players to make it happen. And one player who has been singled out is Coutinho, someone who can bring in the most money.

Considering they paid a hefty sum of roughly $180 million to Liverpool for the Brazilian in 2018, that would be a huge loss on their end. And with most clubs dealing with the financial crunch brought by the pandemic, finding a buyer for the 28-year-old midfielder will not be easy.

Coutinho is currently on loan to Bayern Munich.

There are several teams interested in Coutinho. The Brazilian faces an uncertain summer, with Bayern Munich unlikely to pursue him. Among the teams linked to Coutinho include Newcastle, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool.

However, closing a deal with any of them will still boil down to how much Barcelona will ask. In a previous report, it was mentioned how the Catalan giants were willing to go as low as $56 million for the Brazilian football player.

Aside from Coutinho, Barcelona is expected to offer other players this summer. Nelson Semedo, Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele are among the names Barca is open to selling.

Rakitic has been linked to a possible move back to Sevilla, while Dembele could move to Liverpool. Semedo, on the other hand, has been linked to several European clubs.

Philippe Coutinho Coutinho welcomed Neymar's potential return to Barcelona. In this picture, Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between Malaga and Barcelona at Estadio La Rosaleda, Spain, March 10, 2018. Photo: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images