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Barca target Lautaro should stay at Inter for at least three years - Crespo

Former Argentina star Hernan Crespo says Lautaro Martinez should wait a few years before leaving Inter as the striker continues to be linked with Barcelona.

Lautaro has been linked with a move to the Camp Nou for several months, having scored 16 goals in 31 games for Inter this season.

The 22-year-old has been heralded as one of the club's dream signings this summer, with Barca reportedly pursuing Lautaro and Neymar in what would be a massive transfer window for the La Liga leaders.

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Barcelona head coach Quique Setien said he was neither "pessimistic or optimistic" about potentially signing the Inter forward.

And Crespo says that, if he were Lautaro, he would stay at Inter and continue to develop as a player after truly breaking through just this 

“He must stay at Inter without doubt for a simple reason. He did well in Argentina with Racing, he arrived at Inter and for one season he was on the bench, then he was promoted to being a starter,” Crespo told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“This is his first season as an indispensable player. He needs at least three years to finish growing, then he can think about a transfer elsewhere.”

Last week, Crespo said that the striker “could well be the new Sergio Aguero”, saying that the forward isn't as selfish as the Manchester City star.

The former forward also compared Lautaro favourably with the likes of Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi, who have previously shined in Serie A as well.

Crepso had several different stints at Inter, originally joining in 2002 from Parma.

Following a move to Chelsea that produced a loan to AC Milan, Crespo was loaned back to Inter before making a permanent move back to San Siro in 2008.

The former Argentine international says that he believes that the club has changed in a big way in recent years, especially this season under Antonio Conte.

 “I have followed the evolution of Inter," he said. "Conte and [Beppe] Marotta have brought a different style to the past.”

Crespo is currently the manager of Argentine side Defensa y Justicia having previously taken charge at Banfield and Modena.