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Martinez unaffected by transfer speculation, says Inter boss Conte

Martinez - cropped
Lautaro Martinez has been in fine form this season
Omnisport
NEWS
Modified 15 Feb 2020, 20:04 IST
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Antonio Conte is convinced Lautaro Martinez remains fully focused on Inter amid speculation linking the striker with a move away from San Siro.

Martinez has shone for Inter alongside Romelu Lukaku this term, scoring 16 goals across all competitions for the Serie A leaders.

His form has seen him linked with a transfer to some of Europe's other major clubs, with Barcelona reportedly eager to secure the 22-year-old as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

Conte, though, dismissed the suggestion Martinez will be disrupted by speculation over his future.

"Lautaro is only 22, but he is very mature. He has a wise head on his shoulders," Conte told a news conference ahead of Sunday's crunch Serie A encounter with title rivals Lazio.

"Transfer rumours mean very little. There is always paper talk. Players remain focused throughout.

"The players know what is asked of them. Rumours count for very little, zero. Players need to focus on the pitch."

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Conte insists Inter's entire focus is on maintaining their title challenge, though he believes they will face a Lazio side that is ahead of the Nerazzurri in terms of their development on Sunday. 

"Winning is not easy, especially in Italy. In recent years only one team has won the league," Conte added. 

"It is similar in France and Germany. Lazio have won cups and trophies recently but it has taken time. They have kept the core of the squad. Plus they have strengthened each year. They are a strong side, who are ahead of us in terms of their journey. 

"Lazio have worked well off the pitch, work and planning is important, but so is patience. You need time and patience in football. That is the only way to grow which is our aim."

Published 15 Feb 2020, 20:04 IST
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