Reports have emerged claiming Arsenal are trying to pursue highly-rated Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez. However, it was believed that this transfer was near to impossible to pull off this summer, but if recent reports are to be believed, the Argentinian striker is now open to a move to the Emirates.
The Gunners have already completed three signings – left-back Nuno Tavares, midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and defender Ben White and it seems like Arsenal have plans to complete some more deals before the summer transfer window ends on 31st August.
The North London club have a shortlist of preferred forwards they want to sign. The most prominent names that have been linked to Arsenal are Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and Inter’s Lautaro Martinez. Although the transfer for the Nerazzurri forward seems less probable, the Blues are willing to let their young star leave and have also lowered their asking price for the player.
Though the English forward has been great for any team he has played for, there seems to be scepticism regarding any Chelsea player, given their recent history of bad transfer dealings. Meanwhile, Martinez was a key part of Antonio Conte’s team that won the Serie A last season and has been linked with multiple clubs across Europe.
The Athletic reported that Arsenal are in contact with Inter regarding the transfer of Hector Bellerin and have enquired about the availability of Martinez during the discussions. The Gunners have been long time admirers of the Argentine striker, who scored 17 goals and provided 10 assists in 38 league appearances last season helping Inter win the Scudetto after 11 years.
In speaking with Inter Milan about Bellerin, Arsenal enquired on Lautaro Martinez. 23yo striker (contract 2023) is for sale & #AFC thought to have mentioned Lacazette, but #Inter need cash + hope it helps them keep Chelsea target Lukaku @TheAthleticUK #CFC https://t.co/ldSuW48a0f
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 31, 2021
The Argentinian was always expected to sign an extension with the Italian champions as he entered the last two years of his current contract. However, the Serie A club has been hit with an economical crisis due to COVID and other factors, forcing them to delay contract extension talks with the 23-year-old striker.
Earlier, it was reported that the forward would only leave if any offer came from Barcelona, Real Madrid, or Atletico Madrid. Martinez was the subject of strong interest from Barcelona last season but decided to stay with Inter Milan amid reports of a new deal.
However, doubts regarding his future at the San Siro might have swayed the player to make a u-turn in his decision. Now, the Athletic claims that Martinez might be open to a move to the Emirates this summer if the Nerazzurri want to sell him.
Moreover, the fact that Lukaku is considered a bigger asset than him at Inter might also entice Martinez to move away from the San Siro. The Telegraph reports that Inter Milan are ready to cash in on the Argentinian to keep hold of the Belgian striker. The club would rather sell Martinez than lose Lukaku, who is being strongly linked with Chelsea.
Chelsea are preparing a new bid to sign Romelu Lukaku. Proposal expected around €120/130m after opening bid turned down by Inter [€100m + Marcos Alonso involved in the deal]. ???? #CFC
Chelsea are also offering Lukaku a long term contract for €12m net per season as salary.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 3, 2021
Arsenal suggested including Alexandre Lacazette as part of a swap deal for Lautaro Martinez. The Gunners want to jettison the Frenchman this summer, sighting his form in the last two seasons. However, Inter are believed to be interested in an only-cash deal for the 23-year-old forward. Although the player has a price tag of £77m, any satisfying offer might tempt the club to sell. Tottenham have also enquired about the striker, but they will only pursue him in case Harry Kane decides to leave the club this summer.
If Arsenal lacked anywhere the most last season, it was in front of the goal. They scored just 55 goals in the Premier League last season, the second-lowest among the top ten clubs in the table. One of the factors leading to this is the drying up of goals among the Lacazette-Aubameyang duo. Lacazette could only register 13 goals and 2 assists in 31 appearances last season, while Aubameyang managed only 10 goals and 3 assists in 29 appearances.
Therefore, Arteta’s plan to find a new striker for the club makes sense. Lautaro Martinez is young and has 2 years of experience in playing at the highest level in Europe. At just 23-years of age, he could be the long-term solution for the club, combining with Aubameyang in the forward line.
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Arsenal could tempt him away from San Siro with a slight raise in his current salary at Inter. It is reported that the striker earns around £2.1 million per annum net in wages while his teammates Romelu Lukaku, Christian Eriksen, and Alexis Sanchez are all believed to be earning double his wage. Inter was set to increase his wages after winning the Serie A and Copa America this summer, but the financial crisis at the club delayed this process.
With the transfer deadline approaching in less than a month, this transfer would get tougher day by day. If Edu has plans to bring Martinez to North London, he needs to hurry up as once the season starts, Inter could play difficult to agree to his sale. Nevertheless, this is one transfer that would certainly create excitement and buzz among the fans for the next season.
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