Inter Milan set to sign Lautaro Martinez in summer - agent
ESPN - Friday 9th February, 2018
Inter Milan are set to win the race to sign highly rated Argentine forward Lautaro Martinez from Racing Club de Avellaneda, according to the player's agent and reports on both sides of the Atlantic.
The 20-year-old is due to join the Serie A club in the summer after Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio made a trip to Argentina to convince him in person.
Inter's Argentine vice-president Javier Zanetti is also understood to have spoken with the player and helped lure him to the Nerazzurri, where a release clause valued at an estimated €120 million is to be inserted into his contract.
According to his agent Rolando Zarate, the deal, which would make Martinez's transfer the most expensive in Argentine football -- eclipsing the $28.7m Atletico Madrid paid Independiente for Sergio Aguero in 2006 -- is set to be struck imminently.
"Everything is on course for Lautaro Martinez to join Inter Milan," Zarate told Radio La Red. "There is a 99 percent chance he will play at Inter. The transfer will be $33m gross with Racing getting $25m net."
Atletico and Real Madrid were also reported to be keen on the forward, who will sign a five-year contract, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport and Argentina's Clarin newspaper.
Clarin says the only hurdle left to clear before the agreement is completed concerns Racing, who would like to receive 10 percent of any future sale on Martinez. Meanwhile, Argentine side Liniers, where Martinez began his playing career, are set to earn 20 percent of the player's sale.
Racing president Victor Blanco confirmed the deal was close, telling Fox Sports Argentina: "Lautaro has expressed a wish to play at Inter. He will remain for sure at least until June. Once we complete the transfer we will reveal the figure, which will probably surpass $33m.
"We are negotiating since, instead of increasing the value, it would benefit Racing to [keep a percentage of Martinez] in order to have a capital gain as the clause that [Inter] will insert [in Martinez's contract] will be at least €110m.
"That can generate, in the future, an important figure for Racing."
It is not clear whether add-ons will be payable in the event of Martinez playing for his country, but his agent believes that an imminent call-up is a distinct possibility.
"The Argentina national team is the present," Zarate said. "It's seven games. If I were [coach Jorge] Sampaoli, I would take him to the World Cup without a doubt."
ESPN FC'S Adriana Garcia contributed to this report
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.
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