Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester City have emerged as a threat to Barcelona in their pursuit of Inter Milan superstar Lautaro Martinez.
According to Sport, Barcelona are in pole position to sign Lautaro Martinez in the summer. The Inter Milan striker is tipped to switch to Spain after a successful season under Antonio Conte. It is believed that the player is keen on moving to Camp Nou.
However, things could potentially complicate, with Chelsea and Manchester City set to join the pursuit. Indeed, the Premier League giants are ready to compete with Barcelona and are even willing to break the bank in an attempt to sign Martinez in the summer.
Although Barcelona are still in the driver’s seat, as far as this transfer saga is concerned. Chelsea and Manchester City’s participation could provide Inter Milan with much more leverage in terms of the asking fee. It simply means that the Premier League giants willing to offer “multi-million dollar” offers could force Barca to pay more in order to attain the services of Martinez.
And this could certainly have an effect on their pursuit of Neymar. The Brazilian has been long linked with a return to Catalonia, but nothing has materialised. A deal in the summer could have been possible, but the relationship between the player and the two clubs are still complicated.
Now coming back to Martinez, he is undoubtedly a priority target for Barcelona, given Luis Suarez’s recent struggles with fitness. But, at the same time, a move to Chelsea or Manchester City could also make sense for the Argentine international, who has netted 18 goals in all competitions this season.
Man City, in particular, will be looking for a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero while Chelsea coach Frank Lampard is keen on adding reinforcements in the attacking department. Martinez, in that regard, is an ideal option for both the clubs involved.
That being said, a move to Barcelona still makes the most sense from a player’s perspective. The Catalans will be able to offer to regular Champions League football unlike Manchester City, who have been banned from European competitions for two years. Even Chelsea have flirted with mediocrity in recent years while they also have an established number nine in the shape of Tammy Abraham.
The Barcelona camp, meanwhile, are optimistic as far as their Martinez pursuit is concerned. However, the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic could potentially halt their progress, with the Spanish giants also yet to hold financial talks with the club.