Contract extension talks between Inter Milan and club captain Lautaro Martinez have played out like a “long game of chess.”

This according to Italian news outlet FCInterNews. The outlet outline how the talks between the Nerazzurri and Martinez have progressed to date.

As things stand, Martinez’s contract with Inter runs out at the end of June 2026.

It is not exactly imminently necessary for the Nerazzurri to tie the Argentine down on a new deal. However, they certainly won’t want to wait forever.

The talks have been going on for months now.

There were some serious meetings during the fall. Some reports had even suggested that Inter wanted to have Martinez sign a new deal in January – which did not come to pass.

Inter Milan & Lautaro Martinez Contract Talks Playing Out Like “A Long Game Of Chess”

The reason that Martinez hasn’t put pen to paper yet is simple. Inter have not made an offer high enough to reach the Argentine’s demands.

According to FCIN, Inter’s first offer was for around 7.5-8 million per season.

Meanwhile, the initial request from Martinez and his representatives was 12 million net per season plus add-ons. This would put the 26-year-old on the same kind of earnings as Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

Naturally, this represented a massive gap.

And for that reason, it is perhaps not surprising that the first couple rounds of talks did not result in an agreement.

But according to FCIN, Inter’s next offer was for around €8 million net per season plus another €1 million in add-ons.

That was presented to Martinez’s agent Alejandro Camano around the time of the second leg of the Nerazzurri’s Champions League round of sixteen tie against Atletico Madrid.

The counter-offer from Martinez and his representatives was 10 million net per season plus add-ons.

Still a gap, then. But a less formidable one than had initially existed.

In the meantime, there has been a lot of turbulence behind the scenes at Inter.

The Nerazzurri have changed ownership from Suning to Oaktree Capital.

The club had been waiting for the all-clear from outgoing owners Suning to present a new offer to Martinez. Now, with new owners, the Nerazzurri will instead await the go-ahead from Oaktree.

FCIN anticipate that Inter’s next offer will be for around €9 million net per season plus add-ons. It will reach €10 million with the add-ons.

This will be approaching what Martinez is asking for.

And FCIN anticipate that that could be more or less a “take it or leave it” offer from Inter.