Martinez 'flattered' by Barcelona interest but has not asked to leave Inter - Marotta

Lautaro Martinez - cropped
Inter striker Lautaro Martinez

Lautaro Martinez is "flattered" with links to Barcelona but has not asked to leave Inter, according to Giuseppe Marotta.

The Argentina international has a release clause of €111million and has been strongly tipped to join the LaLiga side in the next transfer window.

He has enjoyed an impressive campaign at San Siro, scoring 16 goals in 31 matches, and is also rumoured to be a target for Real Madrid.

However, Inter CEO Marotta reiterated he is confident the club can keep hold of Martinez beyond the end of this season, with the forward yet to put in a request to move elsewhere.

"Lautaro Martinez is the focus of other clubs' attention in the transfer market, everyone knows this," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"He has immense quality and many teams who would love to negotiate with us for him.

"We have no intention of selling our best players, so if a player does not express the desire to leave, then we'll hold on tight.

"Lautaro is flattered by the attention of big clubs, but he has never expressed the desire to leave. Never. I am very optimistic that we'll see him playing for us again next season."

Former Inter goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi suggested this week Martinez's performances have been affected by the ongoing speculation over his future.

The 22-year-old struggled to make an impact in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Napoli - a result that saw Inter exit the Coppa Italia at the semi-final stage - but Marotta is not concerned.

"There has been a lockdown for three months," Marotta said. "He should be evaluated on what he's done all season, not just in the Coppa Italia semi-final."

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