Barcelona and Inter Milan have been fighting over Lautaro Martinez for weeks.
The Catalan club wants the Argentine striker, who has a fixed release clause, and by throwing various combinations of their squad members on the Italian side they are trying to lower the rate.
It could eventually prove successful, at least in knocking off the final fee of €20 m or so, depending on which members of the bloated Barca squad Inter have an interest in.
But Sport today notes that the side of Antonio Conte wants a side deal for Arturo Vidal to be negotiated.
The midfielder has a deal that expires next summer and is past 30 years. This makes him a low-value target, and Inter wants to conclude a cheap, separate side-deal for the former Juventus man instead of allowing his value to become inflated as a member of a Martinez part-exchange deal.
It’s a clever idea, frankly, and Barca will be cursing their luck they haven’t managed to smuggle the Chilean star out of the club as part of their dream forward package.