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Lionel Messi 'pleads with Lautaro Martinez to join Barcelona'

Messi 'pleads with Lautaro Martinez to join Barca'
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Lionel Messi contacts Lautaro Martinez in an attempt to convince the Inter Milan forward to join Barcelona, according to a report.

Lionel Messi has reportedly personally contacted fellow Argentina international Lautaro Martinez in an attempt to convince the Inter Milan forward to make the move to Barcelona.

Martinez was linked with a move to Camp Nou during the summer transfer window, with Barca allegedly prepared to pay £100m to bring the 22-year-old to Spain.

The centre-forward scored nine times in 35 appearances for Inter during the 2018-19 campaign, while he has started this season with three goals in nine outings - including a strike against Barca in the Champions League.

According to reports in Spain, Messi phoned Martinez earlier this week to discuss a potential move to the Spanish champions in next summer's transfer window.

The attacker registered 27 goals in 60 appearances for Racing Club before moving to the San Siro ahead of the 2018-19 season, while he has struck nine goals in 14 games for Argentina.

Barca are believed to be in the market for a new striker to eventually replace 32-year-old Luis Suarez, who has started to pick up a number of injuries in the latter stages of his career.

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