Manchester City are reportedly set to join La Liga champions Barcelona in pursuit of Inter Milan’s Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez.
According to a report from Sky Sports Italia, as carried by Calciomercato, Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez is in huge demand as Premier League champions Manchester City have joined La Liga counterparts Barcelona in the race to sign the Argentine international.
Martinez, 22, signed for Inter in the summer of 2018 from Argentine outfit Racing Club. The attacker produced a return of 9 goals and a solitary assist in 35 matches in his debut campaign with the Nerazzurri, but has taken his game up a notch in the ongoing campaign under new boss Antonio Conte.
Martinez has already surpassed his goal tally for the last season, having netted 13 times in 19 matches across all competitions, while setting up 3 more. The 22-year-old has struck up a lethal strike partnership with summer signing Romelu Lukaku, helping Inter to the top of the Serie A table after 14 matches.
The Argentine international’s rapid progress has not gone unnoticed with a number of clubs across Europe casting admiring glances towards him. At the forefront of the interest in Martinez have been La Liga champions Barcelona, who had been linked with the forward back in the summer transfer window as well, as they sought a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.
The Catalans, though, decided to splash the cash to secure Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid back then. But, they have continued to monitor Martinez and having seen the Inter Milan star flourish this campaign, have rekindled their interest in him, with Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal confirming as much not very long ago.
However, they will now have to battle it out with former manager Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City if they are to land Martinez next summer. The Premier League giants are on the lookout for a new striker as they look to put a succession plan in place for star striker Sergio Aguero.
Gabriel Jesus has been backed to replace Manchester City’s all-time leading goalscorer, but the Brazilian has blown hot and cold this season, which is why Guardiola is seeking another new forward to further boost his attacking arsenal. To that end, the former Barcelona manager has identified Martinez as the perfect candidate as per the reports in Italy.
There have also been reports claiming that Manchester City’s arch rivals Manchester United are interested in signing the Inter Milan forward.
Any move for Martinez will take a lot of convincing as Inter will not want to lose their star man. Moreover, the fact that he still has over three years left on his current contract puts the Nerazzurri in a strong position. It will be interesting to see if either of Manchester City or Barcelona end up making a move for the Argentine in the summer