Reports of Anthony Martial being lined up to replace Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan appear to be wide of the mark as the Italian giants are set to sign two other strikers to replace him.
The Belgian looks poised to seal a £97.5 million move to Chelsea and reports have emerged over the last 72 hours that the Nerazzurri are lining up the United man to replace his former teammate.
The Sun, among others, claim that United are hoping to recoup close to £50 million for the Frenchman, who struggled for form and consistency last season.
However, several reports from Italy claim that Inter are poised to make a much more cost-effective double swoop in the market to replace Lukaku, in the form of Roma’s Edin Dzeko and Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata.
‘Inter, to replace Lukaku, would like to try the path of the double center forward, in order to protect themselves for any eventuality,’ Tuttosport says.
‘With the departure of the starting center forward, we want to aim for a double purchase to enrich and make interchangeable the battery of the offensive men: €50 million [£43m] will be spent on the incoming market, which will be used to bring 2 forwards and a right-back.
‘Zapata … looks a lot like Lukaku in terms of characteristics and Atalanta said they were willing to accept, [and] Inter have resumed contact with Dzeko by offering him a two-year deal worth 4.5 million.’
‘According to the Mirror, among the solutions for the attack probed by Inter for the post-Lukaku there is also Anthony Martial of Manchester United.
‘The English club has given its willingness to loan its player, but demands the obligation to redeem.’
The view from Italy, then, is that Inter would appear to be about to replace their striker with other options – and the same outlets are also adamant that Lautaro Martinez will stay at the club despite the English media’s insistence that Spurs have agreed a fee for the striker.
But even if Martial were an option, the Italian press believes it would be in the form of a loan with an obligation to buy (as was the case with Alexis Sanchez) rather than a £50 million sale as The Sun has claimed.
Neither story makes much sense.
United surely could not expect a club with financial problems such as Inter’s to fork out £50 million on Martial at this stage. And what club would agree a loan with compulsory purchase at the end of it at £50 million? The redemption figure would need to be a lot lower in a deal such as that and it seems unnecessary and unlikely that United would let Martial go for peanuts.
None of this is to say that Anthony Martial will not leave Manchester United this summer. If Spurs do sell Harry Kane to Man City and fail to land Martinez, they could make an approach. Or it is possible that Martial will ‘do a Lingard’ and have a loan spell away to find some form. But as things stand, reports linking him with a permanent move to Inter Milan seem very wide of the mark.