Serie A giants Inter Milan turned their attention to Racing Club and the Argentina international forward Lautaro Martinez after missing out on Barcelona-bound starlet Arthur, Italian outlet Calciomercato have revealed.
Inter were among a number of clubs trying to sign the Gremio midfielder, but turned their attention to compatriot Lautaro when it became evident that he would instead be joining La Liga leaders Barcelona.
The Catalan club confirmed on Sunday that they have agreed a purchase option – which can be exercised from July 2018 – with Gremio for the 21-year-old in a deal worth €30m plus €9m in various add-ons.
“FC Barcelona and the Brazilian club Gremio de Porto Alegre have reached an agreement on a purchase option for the player Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo, whereas FC Barcelona may exercise this right on the player’s federative rights during July of 2018,” a statement read from the club read.
Inter-bound Lautaro, on the other hand, is rumoured to be the costing the clu?b €20m. The Argentine international, who has scored a total of 18 goals in his 40 appearances for Racing, is expected to sign a five-year deal with the Serie A giants in the summer.
While a deal has not been officially announced by either club, Racing Club President Victor Blanco recently confirmed that Lautaro’s move to Inter is ‘90% complete’.
“It’s 90 per cent complete. There is already a pre-agreement signed with Inter. He will leave for a sum which we believe corresponds to his value. I can see him going to the World Cup, even if it’s ultimately up to [Argentina coach Jorge] Sampaoli to decide,” he claimed on Radio Rivadavia.