Barcelona boss Quique Setien has revealed his admiration for Inter Milan hitman Lautaro Martinez, amid the Argentinian ace being increasingly linked with a move to La Liga.
The Barca boss has finally spoken out on the South American forward, following several months of being tipped with a move for the striker as a possible long-term replacement for veteran star Luis Suarez.
‘We talk about transfers, but this pandemic is going to condition many things. The situation of the clubs will be economically complicated,’ the Barcelona head coach told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.
There is growing pressure surrounding Barcelona this season, with fans hopeful of seeing a long-term replacement come in for the 33-year-old Luis Suarez.
‘I am not pessimistic or optimistic with Lautaro. I like how I like great footballers, but I have no illusions with any,’ Setien added.
Martinez has been making a name for himself in Serie A, and has struck up a solid partnership with Romelu Lukaku in Milan this season.
The 22-year-old South American has already previously expressed his fondness of Spanish football, despite insisting his immediate future lies with Inter.
Despite the coronavirus crisis taking a huge hit on most global sides, Barca were named the richest club in the world in this year’s Deloitte Football Money League, becoming the first club to surpass €800million barrier with revenue of €840.8m (£726m).
Turmoil is brewing within Barcelona at the moment, with strong suggestions that club legend Lionel Messi could finally leave the club.
Messi has been with the Catalan side since youth days, after coming through the famed La Masia academy.
One of Messi’s former team-mates, Cesc Fabregas, believes the Argentine will play out his final professional days in Barcelona.
‘I speak with Messi and his idea has always been to end his career at Barcelona,’ Fabregas told Spanish outlet Cadena Cope.
‘Many things can happen at a club but I am fully confident that his career will end at Barca.’
Fabregas, who himself came through the youth system at Barca before signing for Arsenal at the age of 16, was team-mates with Messi for three years from 2011.
They won one La Liga title and one Copa del Rey together, before Fabregas returned to England to join Chelsea – he is currently at Monaco in Ligue 1.