Speaking in an interview with Italian outlet Sky Sport, Inter’s sporting director Piero Ausilo affirmed that only by paying the release clause will Barcelona land Lautaro Martínez.

Ausilo remains resolute in doing everything in his power so that the Nerazzurri hold onto the very sought-after Argentine forward.

This will come as a blow to the Catalan side who would have to stump up a reported €111m for the buyout clause and so may have to look at offering players as part of any deal, such as Ivan Rakitic or Arturo Vidal.

There is only one way that he’ll be prised away from Inter and that is by paying the clause. It has very specific deadlines and commitments too. Our club does not want to sell its best players, we want to keep them and build around them.”

Many clubs have got in touch with us, including Barcelona, with whom we have an amicable relationship. But they are quite aware of our position.”