Friday May 29 2020
Ausilio: 'Barca must pay Lautaro clause'

Piero Ausilio has warned Barcelona that Inter will only sell Lautaro Martinez for €111m and issued an update on Mauro Icardi’s situation.

Barca have long set their sights on bringing Martinez to Camp Nou, as an eventual replacement for current No 9 Luis Suarez.

However, Ausilio made it clear Inter would only part with the Argentine if his release clause was paid in full.

“As far as Martinez is concerned, there’s only one way he can be taken away from Inter and that’s the payment of his release clause,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“It’s a clause that everyone knows about, there’s no point hiding it. It’s a challenging clause to activate because it has both deadlines and commitments that must be kept.

“It’s a clause that expires in the first few days of July, so it won’t be active for much longer, and it’s currently the only possibility that sees Lautaro away from Inter.

“We’re not discussing Lautaro with anyone right now. We’re simply focusing on him, he’s an important asset for the club and, on top of that, it can’t be forgotten that he still has three years left on his contract with Inter.

“We don’t plan to sell our best players. We intend to keep them and possibly strengthen further in the transfer market.

“This also applies to Lautaro. Many clubs have got in touch with us for him. The pushiest, with whom we have a friendly and cordial relationship, have been Barcelona.

“I won’t hide it, but Barcelona also know exactly what our intentions are. Inter have no plans to sell Lautaro Martinez but, I repeat, there is a release clause.

“There’s no urgency on our part: when we think of Lautaro, we think of him being at Inter. There’s no urgency to sell him.

“What does he think? I don’t know, we never talked about it. Maybe someone’s approached the player’s camp, but we’ve never talked to them: it’s an issue we have no interest in dealing with.

“Whoever wants him must pay his release clause: I’ve been very clear on that.”

The Nerazzurri sporting director was then asked about negotiations to keep Icardi at Paris Saint-Germain, amidst reports a €60m permanent deal has been agreed.

“There’s an option to buy that expires on May 31. We’re in touch with Leonardo because he’s a friend of ours.

“We’re still trying to figure out the best way forward. There’s a price set that, for now, has been affected by what’s happened [coronavirus]. We’ll see what happens between now and Sunday.

“I don’t like talking about figures, there’s the one in the option to buy and there’s also a willingness to negotiate. We’re all friends.

“Icardi signed a contract that contains the possibility of staying longer. There are deadlines, but relationships also count for something.”

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