Barcelona 'stop' talks with Inter Milan over Lautaro Martinez, move for Neymar also unlikely, says Josep Maria Bartomeu

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The 22-year-old Martinez, who has scored 17 goals in all competitions for Inter this season, has been heavily linked with a move to the Camp Nou

Inter Milan's Argentinian forward Lautaro Martinez, left, celebrates with Romelu Lukaku. AFP

Lautaro Martinez is an Argentina international. EPA

Lautaro Martinez after scoring against Qatar during the Copa America. AFP

Lautaro Martinez, left, has broken into the Argentina national team. AFP

Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku have formed a fearsome strike partnership for Inter Milan. AFP

Lautaro Martinez chest controls the ball during a Serie A match between Inter Milan and Roma. AFP

Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku. Getty

Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez argues with referee Gianluca Manganiello before receiving a red card during the Serie A match against Cagliari. AFP

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The National

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

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Barcelona have halted talks with Inter Milan over the signing of Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez, president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Monday.

The 22-year-old Martinez, who has scored 17 goals in all competitions for Inter this season, has been heavily linked with a move to the Camp Nou.

"We spoke with Inter a few weeks ago but now the discussions have stopped. Now we are not speaking," Bartomeu told Catalan television.

"We have to finish La Liga and the Champions League and then see what the priorities are."

He also said Barca were not anticipating making a summer move for former forward Neymar, who Paris Saint-Germain made the world's most expensive player in 2017.

"I don't think PSG will put any player on the market and Neymar is a PSG player," he said.

There have been fresh doubts about the future of Lionel Messi in recent weeks, with the six-time Ballon d'Or winner reportedly frustrated with the club's failure to build a world-class squad.

Spanish media reported earlier this month Messi had broken off negotiations on extending his contract, which expires next year.

"With Messi we talk, we have talked and we will talk," Bartomeu said.

"He is the best player in football history and has years in football ahead. I have no doubt that he will stay with Barca. His future is here in football and after football."

Bartomeu also confirmed under-pressure manager Quique Setien would stay in his post at least until the end of the season.

"We went to Setien's house to talk about the future, about the planning for the next season."

Barcelona sit second in the La Liga table with two matches remaining, one point behind arch rivals and leaders Real Madrid, who play their game in hand against Granada later on Monday.

Updated: July 13, 2020 05:04 PM

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