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Cocca says Martinez should definitely join Barcelona

Tue 05 May 2020 | 11:53

Martinez's former coach at Racing, Diego Cocca, believes the Inter striker should seize the chance to join Barca and play alongside Messi.

Barca is looking for a replacement for Luis Suarez, who has turned 33 lately and whose contract will end next year, and it seems the 22-year-old Inter striker, Lautaro Martinez, is their best bet.

Rumor has it that Barca are preparing to sell Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Samuel Umtiti to raise funds for the purchase of their new target, Martinez, rather than to pay his €111million release clause. They may also offer one or two of the above-mentioned players to Inter in return.

Amid talks concerning Martinez's move to Barca, the Argentine international's former coach at Racing, Cocca, who is now Rosario Central boss, believes that the Argentinian should sieze the opportunity to move to Barca and play alongside Messi.

Recalling a youngster with such a high level of professionalism when he handed him his debut as a teenager in November 2015, Cocca told Sport: "I was surprised.

"The level of maturity, he was a professional player, he interpreted, he understood, he wanted to see pictures, to work on his weaker foot, to work on everything that made things complicated for him.

"Most boys at that age try to hide their flaws, and he just wanted to improve. There, we started to glimpse that he was going to do something very important.

"Knowing Lautaro, he's a boy who likes challenges and surely that's what going to Barcelona would be for him.

"I tell you what I think: logically, Lautaro is the protagonist and he has the last word. He's clearly at a very important team like Inter, but it doesn't happen every day that Barca come looking for you and he can play with the best footballer in history, outside of the national team, and share all these days with him.

"There is no way I would pass that up."

Martinez has scored 11 goals in 22 Serie A appearances this season, having formed a formidable strike partnership with Romelu Lukaku.

Antonio Conte's side were third in the table, nine points behind leaders Juventus but with a game in hand, when the competition was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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