Lautaro Martinez will learn a lot at Barcelona - Stoichkov

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Lautaro Martinez will learn a lot at Barcelona amid growing speculation the Inter star is set to join the Liga champions, according to Hristo Stoichkov.

The 22-year-old has been tipped to leave Inter for Barca, with the Spanish giants reportedly determined to sign a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Argentina international Lautaro had scored 16 goals in 31 games for Antonio Conte's Inter across all competitions in 2019-20.

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Stoichkov played for Barca across two spells – winning five La Liga titles and the European Cup among other honours – and he told TyC Sports: "Martinez has great ability.

"He's going to learn a lot at Barcelona. He has a great teacher like Luis Suarez. And he will have a good understanding with [Lionel] Messi, [Antoine] Griezmann and [Ousmane] Dembele.

"He likes to compete a lot, not just score goals. He's growing every day. I think he's proving that this year.

"The question is not whether he can play or not, the important thing is to compete. He has to train, he has to get into this style of play. I spent eight years at Barcelona playing both left and right [wing].

"Everyone is a substitute and a starter; it depends on how you train during the week."

Not everyone thinks Martinez should switch Inter for Barcelona, however, with Fabio Capello warning the Argentine star he'd likely only be a substitute at Camp Nou

"Lautaro Martinez is a very good player," Capello told  El Larguero. "He has everything – a lot of quality, very fast moves and also he's very good when he shoots on goal.

"Going to Barcelona and becoming a starter with Luis Suarez there is difficult. I think it is better to be a starter at Inter than a substitute at Barcelona."

Racing’s president of youth football Adrian Ruben Fernandez recently revealed Messi has called Lautaro about playing for Barca and believes a move will happen sooner rather than later. 

“Messi called him and wants him by his side soon, I have no doubt,” Fernandez told Sport. “For that reason, the deal to sign him is almost there.

“I know things will go well in Barcelona and that Lautaro will be an excellent replacement for Suarez. He's the ideal heir. Thanks to Barca he will continue to grow as a player and a man." 

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