Arsenal ‘make first call’ for Lautaro Martinez transfer as Inter Milan set price tag


Arsenal have reportedly held exploratory talks over a transfer for their former striker target Lautaro Martinez, who is enjoying another fine season with Inter Milan

Arsenal have made contact with Lautaro Martinez’s agent as they weigh up a summer transfer bid for the Inter Milan striker, according to reports in Italy.

The Gunners are expected to pursue a new centre-forward at the end of the season, when Alexandre Lacazette is out of contract. Manager Mikel Arteta is already light of options up front as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departed for Barcelona in the January window having been stripped of the captaincy one month earlier.

Martinez, 24, was linked with Arsenal last year – as well as local rivals Tottenham – after scoring 17 goals to help Inter clinch the Serie A title. However, he ultimately stayed put at San Siro and signed a new long-term contract until 2026.

The Argentina international is enjoying another fine season having scored 14 goals in 27 league games, while he was also on the scoresheet with a sublime strike during Inter’s Champions League clash at Liverpool. Despite agreeing an extension with Martinez a matter of months ago, the Italian giants are ready to cash in on their player if an offer in the region of €70million (£59m) arrives. That is according to CalcioMercato, which claims Arsenal and Atletico Madrid have emerged as the two standout potential destinations for Martinez.

The report adds Gunners chiefs have spoken to the player’s agent but Atletico are ready to rekindle their interest ahead of the summer window. Although there are no offers on the table for Martinez, Inter have already identified Paulo Dybala – who will leave Juventus for free this summer – as a possible replacement.

Martinez, meanwhile, remains “happy at Inter” even though there is growing interest in his services, his agent has insisted. “Lautaro doesn’t think about himself, he only thinks about Inter,” Alejandro Camano told Fcinter1908, per Football Italia. “He wants to help and wants fans to be happy. Inter haven’t scored many goals lately, but it’s just a process and will return to scoring, that’s for sure.

“Lautaro wants Inter to win, he is not interested in personal success. We must remain calm because Lautaro is happy at Inter and is happy with Inter fans.” Although Martinez has a fine goal tally this season, he has only found the back of the net three times in Serie A since the turn of the year, scoring a hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of Salernitana. Inter sit third in the table as they aim to defend their title, six points behind league-leaders AC Milan with a game in hand.