Inter Milan have set an asking price for striker Lautaro Martinez, with Manchester United reported to be among those interested.
The Champions League finalists are known to need to sell players this summer to the tune of at least €50 million, to address their mounting debt issues and appear now to be reluctantly preparing to sell off the family silver in talisman and World Cup winner Martinez.
The Nerazzurri were previously plotting to sell full back Denzel Dumfries for €50 million and there were a lot of column inches filled with United’s desperate interest in him. However, it seemed that most of the speculation was coming from Milan trying to pump up interest rather than any genuine pursuit by the Red Devils, who are probably more inclined to go for Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong, reportedly available at around €35 million.
So, with mounting realisation that their only €50 million plus asset is the Argentine, Inter have decided to bite the bullet and set an asking price, according to Football Insider.
“Inter Milan will demand a fee of £69.5million [€80m] for Chelsea and Man United target Lautaro Martinez, sources have told Football Insider.
“Both the Blues and United are still eyeing up a move for Martinez ahead of the summer window as both teams search for a proven goalscorer ahead of the 2023-24 season.”
Reports of United’s interest in the 25 year old have started to mount over the last couple of weeks as they seek a long-awaited replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who left the club in December.
Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Spurs’ Harry Kane are said to be the top targets but both are priced above €115 million.
The Times have reported that United boss Erik ten Hag actually wants to sign two strikers, with €40 million Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta also in the frame.
There are massive complications involved in acquiring a more established striker, however, both in terms of transfer fees being demanded and competition from clubs with deep pockets.
Osimhen’s asking price of €130m is €30m above his market value and United face competition from Paris Saint Germain for his signature. Kane’s asking price of €115m is €25m over his market value and Chelsea, PSG and Bayern Munich are keen to acquire his services. Randal Kolo Muani’s asking price of €100m is €35m over his market value and Bayern are particularly keen on signing him. (All market values from transfermarkt.com).
Martinez is the only one whose asking price is in line with his market value at €80m, but Chelsea’s new boss Mauricio Pochettino is said to be particularly keen on him. Whether the Blues’ lack of European football will be a deterrent for the diminutive striker remains to be seen.
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