Lautaro & Messi at Barcelona would be good for Argentina but 'difficult' to get him out of Inter - Scaloni

Goal.com

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni wants Lautaro Martinez to play alongside international team-mate Lionel Messi at Barcelona, but concedes the Catalan giants face a challenge to prise him away from Inter.

Barca have made Lautaro their number one striking target this summer as they seek a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez, who turned 33 in January and is about to enter the final year of his contract at Camp Nou.

Messi is only five months younger than Suarez, but Barca believe he can form a productive strike partnership with his compatriot Lautaro for the next few seasons.

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It is believed they are keen to try and agree a deal at a much lower cost than the reported €111 million (£97m/$121m) release clause in the striker’s contract, while Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Samuel Umtiti could be offered in a part-exchange deal.

As reported by Goal in April, the club are ready to offer Lautaro a contract worth €10m (£9m/$11m) a year to lure him from San Siro.

Messi is even reported to have spoken to his fellow countryman, who has scored 16 goals in 31 appearances so far this season, and told him he wants him to become his team-mate at Camp Nou next campaign.

Scaloni admits he is excited about the prospect of two of his main strikers playing together at club level as he looks ahead to the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, but has warned a deal is still far from being completed.

"Lautaro today is the fashionable striker, the one who every big team wants,” he told RTVE.

“He is already with a big team, which competes equally with other teams and it will be very difficult to get him out of there.

"If Lautaro is lucky enough to go and play with a team-mate like Messi at Barcelona, for us (Argentina), the more they play together the better. 

"Lautaro is a young player with an incredible future. He is strong and has a great desire to succeed. 

"I don't want to interfere, but if he does change clubs I hope he does well."

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