Arsenal have already made contact with the representatives of Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez over a potential transfer.
The attacker has scored 14 goals in 28 Serie A matches this season and is tipped for a move away from Italy in the summer, despite recently signing a contract that keeps the Argentine at the San Siro until 2026. Martinez lifted the league title last season alongside Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku.
A move away from Inter for the 24-year-old could facilitate a return for Lukaku, who said in January that he’d love to return to his former club one day. However, it won’t be easy for Arsenal to attain Martinez’s services with their close neighbours also in the hunt for a forward.
Spurs boss Antonio Conte was the manager who led Martinez and co. to the Italian title last year, so already has a firm relationship with the striker. He is keen to rekindle his connection with Copa America winner, who scored 17 times last season under his guidance, and has reportedly told club managing director Fabio Paratici so.
Tottenham are in need of greater depth in number nines within the squad. Whether he would be a replacement or a partner for Harry Kane remains to be seen.
Inter Milan are not in the best financial health after the pandemic. They may have just tied Martinez down to a bumper new deal but if the right price comes in, they will be willing to let him leave.
They value their man at €80million (£67million), which would be a big chunk of both Arsenal and Tottenham’s summer budget. However, each would likely be able to sustain his arrival, especially when Alexandre Lacazette frees up the wage budget this summer upon the expiration of his contract – and, for Spurs, should Kane ultimately leave.
Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala is set to leave the Old Lady at the end of the season when his deal runs dry. Among the many clubs interested in his services are Inter.
The prospect may be attractive to the 28-year-old if it means he can stay in Italy. If a move does materialise then it could pave the way for Martinez to leave so Dybala’s wage demands can be met.
The striker has also been linked with a transfer to Tottenham. But if he decides to play his football elsewhere, he could still have a big impact on Spurs’ transfer activity.
Agent comments on speculation
Meanwhile, Martinez’s agent has spoken out regarding the transfer links. He doubled down on his client’s current commitment to Inter but stopped short of categorically ruling out a move.
He told FCInter1908 (via Football Italia): “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.”
Martinez himself has remained quiet on the rumours but last summer revealed he had spoken to a psychologist to reduce his on-field temper and yellow card accumulation. He said: “I am improving physically, I’ve trained carefully to get into peak shape. It was more complicated to work on my mentality. Becoming a father has helped me to solve many things off the pitch. A psychologist has helped me to protest less and collect fewer yellow cards.”