Arsenal have offered Hector Bellerin and Alexandre Lacazette in a swap deal to sign Lautaro Martinez this summer.
According to The Football Terrace podcast, as cited by Express, Arsenal have made their first bid for an emerging top target in Lautaro Martinez. They have apparently tabled a player-exchange deal that would see Hector Bellerin and Alexandre Lacazette move to Inter Milan, with Martinez going the other way around.
However, the proposal has been swiftly rejected by Inter. They are persistent on their £65 million asking price for their star forward, as the club looks to inject further money into the club to combat the financial crisis brought upon by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Arsenal’s player exchange appears to be outrageous, broadly undermining the value of Lautaro Martinez, who has enjoyed unprecedented success since moving to Italy in 2018. The Argentine has scored 49 goals in 132 competitive appearances in just three years while chipping in with 20 assists.
The forward’s contributions and attacking partnership with Romelu Lukaku played a vital role in helping Inter Milan seal the elusive Scudetto last season. Unfortunately, the unprecedented departure of Antonio Conte has left a cloud of uncertainty on Martinez’s future, with even Romelu Lukaku now being linked with a sensational return to Chelsea.
Inter Milan, for their part, have already offloaded Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer. It is perhaps why Arsenal are offering them the opportunity to snap up Hector Bellerin. In fact, the Nerazzurri have been linked with a move for the Spaniard in the past, though Arsenal have only demanded a fee of just over £20 million.
Lacazette, meanwhile, is likely to serve as a direct replacement for Martinez. But there will be questions over the Frenchman’s temerity as he often tends to be quite sloppy in front of goal. Not to mention, Arsenal value him only at around £15 million, with Mikel Arteta eager to get rid of him this summer.
However, in order to stand a chance of signing Lautaro Martinez, the Gunners will have to fork out a whopping £65 million in cash rather than relying on direct swaps. A lot, therefore, will bank on how they manage to offload their unwanted players in an attempt to fund the transfer.
The current financial climate in Europe is certainly going to hold off clubs from spending too much on players like Bellerin, Lacazette and Calum Chambers. It would thus be realistic to forecast an Arsenal team without any big-name attacker like Martinez next season.