Messi-Martinez double act at Barcelona? Argentina boss Scaloni hopes so

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has admitted he would like Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez to join Albicleste teammate Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

Martinez is understood to be a summer transfer target for the Catalan club and has also reportedly attracted the interest of Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old has combined well with Messi for Argentina’s national team, but a partnership at club level would take their on-pitch understanding to a new level ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, according to Scaloni.

“They’ve worked well together when they’ve played in the same team,” Scaloni was quoted as saying by the Ole news service. “For Argentina, the more they play together, the better. We would like that to happen. But he’s already at a big club, so we’ll have to see what happens.”

Martinez has scored 16 goals in 31 matches across all competitions for Inter Milan this season. He joined the Italian Serie A club in July 2018 after netting 18 times in 27 games for Argentina’s Racing club in 2017-18.

“Lautaro is a young player with an incredible future,” Scaloni said. “He is strong and has a great desire to succeed. He is similar to Luis Suarez in that both are predators in and around the area and never stop fighting. He’s a player any club would like on their team.”