Lautaro Martinez will find it “hard to say no when Barcelona and Lionel Messi call”, admits Gonzalo Higuain, with the Juventus striker admitting he does not envy the future decision a fellow Argentine is about to make.
Speculation continues to build regarding a big-money move to Camp Nou for Inter striker Lautaro.
At 22 years of age, and having proved his worth in Europe on the back of a switch to San Siro from Racing, the highly-rated forward is considered to be the perfect long-term heir to Luis Suarez in Catalunya.
A lucrative contract has been readied for him by Barca, with the Liga giants making the promising youngster a top target for the next transfer window.
It has been suggested that Messi has sounded out a countryman regarding a move to Spain, with his current ability and future potential set to be embraced by an already star-studded squad.
Inter, though, are understandably reluctant to part with a prized asset and will need both the player and funds on offer from elsewhere to tempt them into a sale.
Higuain concedes that Lautaro will find it tough to snub advances from the Blaugrana, with the 32-year-old having once faced a similar poser himself when leaving River Plate for Real Madrid.
He told Libero: “It’s a complicated situation, as for example when I was 18 years old and Real Madrid came looking, I didn’t say ‘no thanks.’ You just don’t know what can happen.
“Obviously, I don’t want to create any controversy, but it’s hard to say no when Barcelona and Messi call… I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes right now.
“Lautaro is in the ascendancy, this is the most exciting part of his career, he is already part of a big team like Inter despite being so young.
“He has already played in the Copa America, scoring goals, and without doubt has what it takes to become Argentina’s main No.9.
“Having said that, it all depends on him. We have to see how he reacts to criticism and the strength of his mentality.”
Higuain took the plunge when heading to Spain at Santiago Bernabeu in 2007 and spent six years in Madrid before deciding that his ongoing development would be better served elsewhere.
He added on the career path he has taken, with Lautaro urged to commit fully to any decision he makes: “I decided to go from Real Madrid to Napoli to show everyone that my decision was not wrong.
“It was a decision made to grow as a player and person, because I think the most beautiful thing for a player is to reinvent himself.
“I showed myself and everyone that I could do it and therein lies the key, to be convinced of the decisions.”