'They’ve made enquiries': Reporter says Arsenal keen on signing Lautaro Martinez
Arsenal retain an interest in signing Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan this summer, says Peter O'Rourke
Arsenal retain an interest in signing Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan this summer, according to journalist Peter O’Rourke.
The north London side have been busy in the summer transfer window so far as they prepare for Mikel Arteta’s second full season in charge of the Gunners.
Arsenal have already concluded deals for Ben White, Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga as they aim to mount a push for a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.
The Gunners continue to be linked with a number of other potential inbound signings this summer, with Argentine forward Martinez having been touted as a possible target for the north London side.
The 23-year-old Argentina international was in good form for Inter Milan last season as he hit 17 goals and made six assists in 38 Serie A games to help them win the Italian title.
According to O’Rourke, Arsenal are still “really hopeful” of being able to conclude a deal to sign Martinez this summer, but they could end up facing competition from some of their Premier League rivals.
Speaking on The Football Terrace Podcast, O’Rourke said: “Arsenal are still relatively hopeful something can happen with Lautaro Martinez with Inter Milan.
“The strange thing with this deal is it coincides with the Romelu Lukaku bids. Inter Milan really want to keep Lukaku but to do that they’ll probably have to sacrifice Lautaro Martinez because they need the funds to come in.
“They really are in financial turmoil. The owners do want to sell one of their assets to bring some much-needed funds in. They’d ideally prefer to sell Martinez rather than Lukaku. That’s given Arsenal hope that a deal can be done here despite reports saying Martinez would only move to Spain.
“That’s not true. From what I’ve heard he’d be up for the Premier League. Not just Arsenal but any team that showed an interest in him. I wouldn’t rule out Manchester City possibly coming into the race for him if the Harry Kane deal was soured.
“If Chelsea get told Lukaku isn’t happening, Martinez wouldn’t be a bad option for Chelsea.
“Arsenal are the first ones to make their interest official. They’ve made enquiries to Inter Milan about whether they can do this deal.
“They’ve offered the likes of Hector Bellerin and Alexandre Lacazette has been mentioned as a makeweight in the deal.
“From what I’m hearing, Inter aren’t that keen on taking Bellerin as part of the deal. They’d prefer straight-up cash.
“Whether Arsenal have £65m to do this deal after signing Ben White, Lokonga and Tavares already, it might depend on more players departing The Emirates before Arsenal can follow this up.
“Martinez seems like the number one target if Arsenal are to go for a striker.”
Arsenal will travel to Brentford in their Premier League opener on 13 August.