Suarez: Lautaro should stay at Inter despite Barcelona links

Former Inter and Barcelona attacker Luis Suarez believes Lautaro Martinez should stay with the Serie A giants.

Martinez, 22, is reportedly being chased by Barca after scoring 16 goals in 31 games for Inter this season.

The 1960 Ballon d'Or winner, Suarez moved in the opposite direction during his playing career, leaving Barca for Inter in 1961.

The former Spain international said if he was in Martinez's position, he would stay at San Siro while passing up the chance to make the move to Barcelona to join international team-mate Lionel Messi. 

"If I were him, I wouldn't change teams," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday.

"Making a decision on whether to stay or not is very complicated, although if Messi called him then it would be easy to think about it.

"However, we're talking about a boy who is still very young, and he has all the time in the world to go for other challenges in the future."

Martinez could reunite with Messi at Barcelona, with the pair playing alongside each other for Argentina since the younger attacker's breakthrough with the country's senior team in 2018.

Messi recently said that the long-rumoured Barcelona target is an "impressive striker" , giving a bit of praise to his national team team-mate while adding that he is unsure of the status of any potential deal.

Barca boss Quique Setien said in April that he was "not pessimistic nor optimistic" about a deal getting done , with the coronavirus outbreak in the weeks since perhaps impacting the club's plans.

But Suarez reminded Martinez just where he would stand if he decided to leave Inter, a club that could reward him with a more prominent and important tole should he stay.

"Let's say the truth, he would have less prominence in Spain than he does at Inter," he said.

"I want to give [Lautaro] some advice – stay where you are."

While Suarez urged the striker to stay, Racing’s president of youth football Adrian Ruben Fernandez says Martinez should go, adding that Messi has recently called to convince him.

He also hailed Martinez as an ideal heir for current Barca star Luis Suarez.