FC Barcelona And Inter Milan Keen On Doing Business Ahead Of Champions League Clash

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FC Barcelona And Inter Milan Keen On Doing Business Ahead Of Champions League Clash

Post by admin » Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:55 am

Even in the week before a Champions League Group F clash between the Italian and Catalan giants this Tuesday, top brass from FC Barcelona and Inter Milan met to talk business.

According to daily newspaper SPORT, whose print edition headline read ‘Operation Milan’ on Monday morning, Barça’s director of football Eric Abidal was in the Italian fashion capital on Friday to discuss a variety of potential transfers.

The scoop was broken by Lluís Miguelsanz and Tomàs Andreu, who prolonged already widely-circulated claims of the nerazzurri’s interest in midfielders Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal that stretch back to October.

Then, Barça made their asking price of $33mn for Rakitic clear, but this was refused by Inter who found it too high a valuation.
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Two months later, Rakitic’s lot has improved considerably. Once shunned to the sidelines owing to the rise of summer recruit Frenkie de Jong, the Croat has started the last three matches under Ernesto Valverde and has worked alongside the young Dutchman masterfully in important victories.

Vidal’s tag at $22mn is much lower, and given their previous triumphs together at Juventus, the Chilean warhorse is a favourite of Inter coach Antonio Conte’s while believed to possess the title-winning pedigree required to disrupt the Old Lady’s eight year stranglehold on the Italian Serie A.

In any event, both 30-something men are free to walk in 2021 - which is coincidentally the year of expiry on Lionel Messi’s current contract - and Miguelsanz has subsequently claimed this afternoon in Spain that the Blaugrana won’t allow Vidal to walk earlier than June.

“Inter Milan and Manchester United have asked about Arturo, a very coveted player in the market, but neither Barça nor Ernesto Valverde want to part with him,” insisted Miguelsanz. “The Chilean is the only midfielder of strength in the squad and the coach is clear that he will be important in the decisive matches of the season. In addition, he is a player who has character and a lot of ancestry within the squad. To close any debate, the club says Arturo will continue until June. And that is the only road map marked.”

Naturally, further enquiries were also reportedly made as to the availability of Lautaro Martinez. A revelation in European soccer this season with 13 goals - one of which came at the Camp Nou - across all competitions, the young Argentine is seen as the perfect successor to Luis Suarez.

Once more however, it was reiterated by Toni Frieros that Martinez will not leave midway through a campaign and for nothing less than his $123mn release clause. “Given the good relations between Barça and the Nerazzurri” however, as Frieros wrote, “Barça will work to have a preferential option for Lautaro” and his capture.

Meanwhile, on the red half of the city, Abidal also touched bases with his opposite number at AC Milan in Paolo Maldini. The topic of conversation was centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo, who Barça have given the green light to for a Camp Nou exit in the next transfer window considering the rise of Ronald Araujo. With any potential sale apparently involving a buyback clause in case the Frenchman blossoms in the next few years, Premier League outfit Watford are also interested too.

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