It’s been a tumultuous few weeks at Barcelona, dominated by the ‘will he, won’t he’ scenario involving Lionel Messi potentially leaving the club.
Ronald Koeman has almost certainly had more to deal with than most new managers upon taking over in a new managerial position, however, now it’s down to business.
Messi finally joined his team-mates for group training on Wednesday, and although the LaLiga season starts on Saturday, Barcelona won’t participate until week three, owing to their Champions League endeavours last season.
One player who had been rumoured to join them earlier in the summer would now appear to be staying put at his current club.
“Lautaro (Martinez) is not leaving Inter,” said Inter vice-president, Javier Zanetti, according to Fox Sports, cited by MARCA and in English by Football Espana.
“Not only does Barcelona notice him, but Lautaro is clear that he is at a great club like ours and he is happy.
“For not now he is not going, he is our present and future. There is respect between the clubs, there are players who have a clause and a club comes and pays that, so then there would be little we could do.
“But in the case of Lautaro he is very happy at Inter.”
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Given that Koeman already has Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, Ansu Fati and Messi at his disposal in an attacking sense, as well as Martin Braithwaite and others, it’s debatable that the Catalans need the Argentinian now at all.