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Inter chief hints at Martinez extension, opens up on Lukaku & Skriniar betrayal

Inter Milan chairman Guiseppe Marotta has expressed his desire to tie Lautaro Martinez to a new long-term contract following his terrific start to the season.

The World Cup winner has been a significant contributor to Inter’s impressive start to the season, bagging 11 goals and two assists in ten appearances across all competitions.

Martinez’s form has catalysed Inter’s Serie A ranking, with the Nerazzurri sitting in second place, two points behind arch-rivals AC Milan after picking up 19 points from eight games.

The 26-year-old still has three years left to run on his current deal, but Marotta insists the Nerazzurri captain is eager to pledge his allegiance to the club for an even longer stay.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Marotta praised Martinez’s character and also aimed a dig at Milan Skriniar, who left Inter for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer during the summer.

“Lautaro is not like Skriniar,” the Inter chief said. “If he expresses his desire to extend, which matches our will, it means we are on the right path and can continue together for a long time.

“Having loyal footballers is an added value. If there is no sense of belonging, a player doesn’t even understand what it means to play or to win a derby. 

“The best thing for a club is to have a player who refuses to join more important sides, remaining tied to his team.”

Marotta also took a swipe at Romelu Lukaku, whose well-documented Inter betrayal landed him in Rome, where he currently plies his trade with Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma.

“The past is the past, and nobody at the club thinks about him anymore,” the 66-year-old said. “I’ve been working in football for many years, and it is not the first time it has happened.”

On Skriniar’s move to PSG, Marotta added: “A player who pretended he wanted to extend but was thinking about something else. I was so disappointed.

“When a player doesn’t extend, he doesn’t go against club directors or the President. He goes against history and the value of the club. 

“He wronged Inter, not people. He could have renewed. We offered him many solutions, even a release clause to protect him and Inter, but he always said no.”

Marotta also offered his opinion on the recent betting scandal involving Italian players, with Nicolo Fagioli banned for seven months and Sandro Tonali facing a similar fate. 

He said: “I am sorry about what’s going on, but clubs and institutions are not doing enough to educate youths, the players of the future. 

“It is not acceptable that we still have to live with such a phenomenon.

“Social media put these guys in contact with any sort of reality. They have a lot of free time, which they don’t spend well.”

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