Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio said reported Chelsea target Lautaro Martinez can only leave if his release clause is met.

Chelsea have been monitoring the 22-year-old according to a report from Sport back in April.

Having scored 16 goals across all competitions for Inter this season, it is easy to see why the striker is on the shortlist of a number of top clubs.

But sporting director Ausilio has stressed that Inter have no intention of letting their star leave this summer, and paying Martinez’s reported €111 million (£97m) release clause would be the only option for interested parties.

(Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

He told Sky Italia: “As far as Martinez is concerned, there is only one way that he will leave Inter and that is by paying his clause.

“A clause that everyone knows – there is no point in hiding – is demanding, because it has both deadlines and commitments that must be kept very precise.”

Ausilio explained that the release clause will expire in the early part of July and paying it would be the only possibility for interested clubs to sign Martinez as Inter clearly want to keep him.

“He is an important asset of the club, and let’s not forget that he still has a three-year contract with Inter,” he said.

(Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Ausilio also said there has been contact from several clubs regarding the Argentina international, but only specifically mentioned Barcelona as the most persistent one.

He said: “Many clubs have contacted us to address the Lautaro theme.

“Among these, the most determined one, with whom we have a friendly and cordial relationship, is Barcelona.”

Have something to tell us about this article?