Lautaro Martinez 'must find peace of mind' amid Barca links – Inter CEO Marotta
By Sacha Pisani
7 July 2020, 00:19
Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta said Lautaro Martinez "must find peace of mind" amid strong links to LaLiga champions Barcelona.
Martinez – who moved to Milan from Racing Club in 2018 – has been tipped to swap Serie A side Inter for Barca at the end of the 2019-20 coronavirus-hit season.
The Argentina forward had scored 16 goals prior to the campaign being halted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but he has only netted once in six games since the restart, missing a penalty in Sunday's 2-1 loss to Bologna.
Inter CEO Marotta – reluctant to part with the 22-year-old – said Martinez needs to regain his focus as his struggles continue.
"There are two factors to consider, the competitive one and the one relating to the transfer market, which run concurrently," Marotta told Sky Sport Italia.
"Inter don't want to sell a 23-year-old lad like him, but this is a time when rumours are flying about.
"We saw Lautaro the great player in the first half of the season, which caught the attention of big clubs.
"Now, he must find peace of mind to guarantee Inter the performance levels he showed in the first half of the season."
Marotta also said Inter must be patient with January signing Christian Eriksen, who has struggled for consistency since arriving from Tottenham.
Eriksen has netted three goals across all competitions and supplied two assists in Serie A, where Inter sit third in the table – four points behind second-placed Lazio and just a point clear of in-form Atalanta with eight matches remaining.
"Eriksen joined in January, obviously with problems in an area of the pitch that is suffering from some absences," Marotta added. "He's a great player and he can certainly give much more. We have to be patient with him.
"There are eight games left and 24 points up for grabs. We've suffered 4 defeats, so many for what Inter represent but not that many in context of our project.
"As for the Europa League, we'll try to win it. We don't know how the other teams in the competition are faring right now, but we must believe. We play to win and this is a big objective for us."