Former Inter chairman Massimo Moratti has said that if Barcelona target Lautaro Martinez leaves the club his preference to replace the striker would be either Lionel Messi or Juventus frontman Paulo Dybala.
Barca’s interest in Lautaro has been well known for some time, with the reigning Liga champions having put the Argentine attacker at the top of their transfer wishlist with a view to the 22-year-old taking over as Luis Suarez’s long-term heir at Camp Nou.
Whether the Catalan club will be able to raise the necessary funds to activate the forward’s release clause remains to be seen as the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic are difficult to predict, but the former Nerazzurri is certainly sure about who he’d bring in as a replacement.
“If Messi arrives, great,” Moratti said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport . “If it’s impossible to sign Leo, then I’d prefer Dybala takes Toro’s (Lautaro) place.”
Aside from the monetary concerns caused by the Covid-19 crisis, the bigger issue on most people’s minds is ensuring the health of players, staff and workers involved in matchdays.
Some leagues such as Ligue 1 and the Eredivisie have made the call to end the season early, preferring to prepare for the 2020-21 campaign rather than take the risk of having players return to the pitch too early.
And while Paris Saint-Germain were named champions in the French top flight, there are many Juventus fans who have said they would not accept the Scudetto in that fashion, preferring to win Serie A on the pitch.
Indeed, those thoughts were echoed by Juve president Andrea Agnelli, who ‘liked’ a series of tweets from fans who had reacted to PSG being handed a title despite there still being matches left to play.
One of those tweets suggested accepting the title would be akin to handing the Scudetto to Inter, who saw Juve stripped of two titles in the mid-2000s following the Calciopoli scandal.
Moratti, however, isn’t buying it.
“There’s a slight difference,” the 74-year-old stated. “Back then it was cheating – this is a virus that has paralysed the whole world.
“It’s better to prepare for next season. The Scudetto is not a priority at the moment.”
On Juve’s hopes of securing a treble being dashed if the season is called off, Moratti added: “They will have other opportunities.
“No record lasts forever. I wouldn’t be bothered by it – winning the Triplete wouldn’t take anything away from us.”