Valverde hails Barcelona target Lautaro Martinez: He's a great player

Ernesto Valverde was asked about Barcelona-linked Inter forward Lautaro Martinez on the eve of Tuesday's Champions League clash.

Inter forward Lautaro Martinez has reportedly emerged as a top target for Barcelona, which is looking to identify a long-term heir to succeed Luis Suarez.   -  Getty Images

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said Lautaro Martinez is a "great player" as the Inter star continues to be linked with the La Liga champion.

Inter forward Martinez has reportedly emerged as a top target for Barca, which is looking to identify a long-term heir for the aging Luis Suarez.

Martinez has scored 13 goals across all competitions this season, including a goal away to Barca in the Champions League on October 2.

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The 22-year-old Argentina international will come up against Barca again when Inter welcomes the Spanish giant to Milan on Tuesday, in a battle of first against second in Group F on the final matchday.

Asked about Martinez on the eve of the clash, Valverde – whose Barca has already qualified for the last 16 – told reporters: "He is a great player and he's having a great season. He is quick and strong.

"He scored a great goal in the first game at the Camp Nou. I know he is comfortable with [Romelu] Lukaku, they’ve found the right mechanism to help Inter.

"As for Lautaro being similar to Luis Suarez, they are a little different but both are born goalscorers.

"But Inter have so many good players, Lautaro, Lukaku, [Milan] Skriniar…"

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