Lautaro joining Messi at Barcelona would benefit Argentina - Ayala

Goal.com

Lautaro Martinez and Lionel Messi teaming up at Barcelona would have a positive impact on Argentina, according to the national team's assistant coach Roberto Ayala.

Having scored 16 goals in 31 appearances for Inter in 2019-20, Lautaro is a target for La Liga champions Barca and it was last week reported he had agreed a five-year deal at Camp Nou.

Former Napoli, Milan and Valencia centre-back Ayala has been impressed by the 22-year-old's development under Antonio Conte this season and the partnership he has struck up with Romelu Lukaku.

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With the coronavirus pandemic meaning the Copa America has been postponed until 2021, Ayala thinks Lautaro potentially playing with six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi at club level next term would be of huge benefit to Argentina.

The South American heavyweights have not won a senior international trophy since 1993, with Messi on the losing side in four finals during his career.

"The more matches they play together, the more they can get to know each other, it can be an advantage [for Argentina]," Ayala told Ole.

"But we will have to see if Lautaro plays for Barcelona or not because we can't forget [Luis] Suarez is there. We will see.

"It's an important decision Lautaro will have to make. Whatever he decides you have to respect because he's managing his career.

Lionel Messi Argentina
Lionel Messi Argentina

"The more chances of them playing together, the more they're going to understand each other.

"Lautaro is in a very important club at the moment and scoring goals in Italy is not easy.

"At Inter he's grown a lot and learned to earn his place. Inter trust in him a lot, his coach is empowering him, he found a partnership that complements him very well."

Inter are set to play their first game in over three months with a Coppa Italia semi-final against Napoli on Saturday, having lost the first leg 1-0 before football was suspended amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Lautaro and company will be back in Serie A action eight days later, with Sampdoria set to arrive at San Siro in a must-win clash for Conte's side.

Inter are currently third in the Italian top flight, nine points behind leaders Juventus with a game in hand, and cannot afford any slip-ups in their final 13 games.

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