Lionel Messi has said Lautaro Martinez possesses the perfect qualities to help Barcelona’s front line once the summer window opens.
The Argentine forward, who turns 33 in June, remains the driving force in the Barca team which was on course to win the Spanish league title before the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.
Despite their position on the league table, Barcelona’s season has been far from plain sailing. Ernesto Valverde was sacked in January, while the political upheaval and financial uncertainty behind the scenes at the club has threatened to undermine their pursuit of glory on the pitch.
Messi, himself, became embroiled in a war of words with the club’s current director of football, Eric Abidal, earlier this season.
- Ziyech breaks down in tears as Ajax bid him emotional farewell ahead of Chelsea move
- Mark Clattenburg reveals five most annoying players he has ever refereed
Messi was said to be driving Barcelona’s move for Inter Milan forward Martinez, who has a £97m buyout clause in his current contract and is interesting clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United.
With Luis Suarez injured and in the latter stages of his career, Messi has again praised his Lautaro Martinez’s ability amid uncertainty over the long-term futures of Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann.
‘If I am honest I do not know very well if there were or are negotiations right now for him, I have no idea,’ Messi told Sport.
‘I think I already mentioned it, that Lautaro is an impressive striker, especially because I think he is a very complete point: he is strong, he dribbles well, he has a goal, he knows how to protect the ball.
‘But well, we will have to see what happens finally with him and with other names that have been mentioned.
‘On the subject of transfers, there are some people in the club who are in charge and should be the ones who choose what they think is best for the squad.
‘It is clear that in this current situation everything is going to be harder in the market as well and you have to be confident to be able to improve what we already have.’