Spanish La Liga giants FC Barcelona are still keen to make a move for Italian Serie A outfit Inter Milan’s striker Lautaro Martinez in the summer transfer window. The Catalan-based club have been looking for players in order to bolster their attacking unit for future campaigns.
In the recent past, there have been reports of interest from Barcelona in Martinez as it is believed that the club’s hierarchy sees him as a perfect replacement of ageing forward Luis Suarez.
As per the Italian publication Calciomercato, Barcelona are still keen to sign the 22-year-old and are ready to make a move for him in the summer transfer window.
It is believed that Martinez has a release clause of €111 million in his contract which is going to be activated in the summer this year.
The Argentina international has been with Inter since the summer of 2018 when he moved from the Racing Club for a reported transfer fee of €25 million.
Since then, the versatile striker has represented his current club in 63 matches in all competitions where he has managed to score 25 goals and provided five assists as well.
In the ongoing campaign, Martinez has been in inspirational form for the Milan-based club where he has already netted 16 times and provided four assists in just 28 appearances.
Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero left on the bench as Manchester City face Real Madrid
Pep Guardiola has named Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero on the bench, while Karim Benzema is set for a landmark Real Madrid appearance.
Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero have been named on the bench by Pep Guardiola for the first leg of Manchester City’s Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid.
Sterling has missed the majority of February due to a thigh strain, but Guardiola confirmed on Tuesday the 25-year-old – who has five Champions League goals to his name this season – would be fit to return at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The England forward has only been deemed fit enough to take a place among the substitutes however, and he is joined on the bench by City’s leading scorer, Aguero.
Gabriel Jesus, who replaced Aguero and scored the winning goal against Leicester City on Saturday, starts up front in one of two changes to City’s team – the Brazil international has scored four goals in five Champions League games this term.
How we line-up at the Bernabeu!
Ederson. Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Mendy, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Mahrez, De Bruyne (C), Bernardo, Jesus
Subs | Bravo, Sterling, Aguero, Silva, Fernandinho, Cancelo, Foden
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 26, 2020
Jesus’ compatriot Fernandinho is a surprise omission, with Nicolas Otamendi partnering Aymeric Laporte at the back.
Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, meanwhile, has made three alterations to his side following a 1-0 defeat at Levante last time out.
Toni Kroos is replaced by Federico Valverde in midfield, while Ferland Mendy is in for Marcelo at left-back and the injured Eden Hazard makes way for Vinicius Junior, who is preferred to Gareth Bale.
Karim Benzema leads Madrid’s line and will become the sixth player to make 100 Champions League appearances for the club, with Sergio Ramos making a record 124th start.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 26, 2020
Sergio Ramos equals Champions League record with another red card
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos equalled a Champions League record after being sent off again.
Sergio Ramos was shown the 26th red card of his career as the Real Madrid captain equalled a Champions League record in the loss to Manchester City.
Ramos was sent off late in the 2-1 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu after bringing down Gabriel Jesus on the edge of the area on Wednesday.
Incredibly, it was the 26th red card of Ramos’ illustrious career and also his fourth in the Champions League.
Ramos joined Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edgar Davids on a record four red cards in the Champions League.
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) February 26, 2020
The 33-year-old will miss the second leg of the last-16 tie, which City lead after Jesus cancelled out Isco’s opener and Kevin De Bruyne converted an 83rd-minute penalty.
David Beckham: Inter Miami have great opportunity to sign Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham addressed speculation linking the club with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
David Beckham said MLS side Inter Miami have a “great opportunity” to sign superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barcelona captain Messi and Juventus forward Ronaldo have both been linked with moves to the United States – Beckham’s expansion franchise Inter looming as a possible destination for the pair.
There is speculation Inter, who will make their MLS debut against Los Angeles FC on Sunday, could lure both players to Miami after Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath talked up the possibility.
Inter co-owner Beckham addressed the speculation during his appearance on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ on Wednesday.
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) February 27, 2020
“Well you know what, we’ve got great opportunities down in Miami,” former Manchester United, Real Madrid and England star Beckham said with a smile.
“We’ve been contacted by a lot of different players with possibly coming to join the team. As any owner, you really want the best players and if we have the opportunity to bring in players like Cristiano or Leo, I have such admiration for them as athletes, if we could bring those players in than great.
“But at the moment, we have a great roster. Young players, a couple of experienced players too, but a lot of young players who are just ready to play.
“One of the things I learnt from [former United manager] Alex Ferguson… he turned around to me and said whoever you bring in, they have to be the right fit for the club. It’s not about the biggest name or personality, it’s about who fits in best with the players.
“That’s what we’ll do. But like I said, as an owner if you want to bring these players in than we have a great opportunity.”
Inter, who have also been linked to Manchester City’s David Silva, Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, have a Designated Player spot available after signing Rodolfo Pizarro and Matias Pellegrini.
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