Martinez says his future is at Inter, ends Barcelona speculation

Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan v Inter Milan - San Siro, Milan, Italy - February 21, 2021 Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

ROME (Reuters) - Lautaro Martinez is ready to commit his long-term future to Inter Milan after coming close to joining Barcelona last summer, the Argentine striker told Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Martinez was linked with a move to the Spanish club at the end of last season, but stayed on to play a key role in Inter’s bid to win their first Serie A title in 10 years under coach Antonio Conte.

"It's true, we were working with Barcelona, that was the road we were taking," Martinez told the paper.

"I don't know what to tell you about how close I came to that club.

"With Conte I was very clear. I told him: 'My head is here, that's a promise, this won't affect me'. But that's all in the past now, I will renew my contract with Inter."

Martinez, who has scored 13 Serie A goals for Inter this season to help them go four points clear at the top of the table, insists there is no hurry over announcing his new deal at San Siro.

"They will find the right moment to make it official, meanwhile I will keep playing," he said.

"But my future is here, I see myself in Milan for a long time. I like this city a lot: the food, the relationship with the fans, the team, there are only positive sensations."

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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