Barcelona news LIVE updates and transfer gossip from the Nou Camp
Thursday, February 27
- Real Madrid are ready to table an offer for Napoli star Fabian Ruiz
- Barcelona are focused on signing Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez
- The Spanish champions have two options to secure his signature
- Barcelona have submitted an offer to sign RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner
Lautaro Martinez to Barcelona
Barcelona are focused on signing Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez, Calciomercato say.
Martinez, 22, is enjoying a terrific season under Antonio Conte at the San Siro having scored 16 goals and provided four assists in 30 appearances.
And his exploits haven’t gone unnoticed with the Catalan giants desperate to bring him in to partner Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona can’t afford to pay Martinez’s £94million release clause that MUST be activated July 1 and July 15 because of Financial Fair Play restrictions.
To navigate that, the Spanish champions will either include two players in an audacious swap deal or offer a figure higher than his release clause that’s paid in instalments.
Sunday’s ‘Clasico’ between Real Madrid and Barcelona may have huge ramifications on La Liga’s title race but poor showings in the Champions League mean the fixture is lacking its usual billing as a battle between the two best teams in the world.
Real Madrid lost 2-1 at home to Manchester City in their last-16 first leg while Barcelona drew 1-1 at Napoli, a result which masked a shaky performance and seemed to confirm Lionel Messi’s fears that they are not good enough to win the trophy.
Champions Barca take a two-point lead into the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu after cashing in on a wobble from Zinedine Zidane’s side, who drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo and lost to Levante in their last two league fixtures.
“This Clasico is like a race between two injured people, the reality is the two teams are doing very badly,” said former Real Madrid and Argentina forward Jorge Valdano.
“Barcelona’s recovery owes far more to Real’s decline than their own merits. Real’s slip ups have strengthened Barca, who put in an abysmal performance against Napoli.”