Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Arsenal suffer Lautaro Martinez transfer setback as Mikel Arteta endeavors to sign new striker

Arsenal suffer Lautaro Martinez transfer setback as Mikel Arteta endeavors to sign new striker

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been dealt a setback in his race of Lautaro Martinez, with the frontman thought to be heading to Atletico Madrid instead.

The deal between Inter and the Spanish side is far from finished, but reports indicate that they would have the pulling power to sign Martinez if Simone Inzaghi is happy to let him go.

The Gunners are trying to tackle their ageing strike force, with Alexandre Lacazette thought to be on the chopping block for the remainder of the window.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, meanwhile, may be granted another crack at getting back to his ruthless best in front of goal.

At 23 years old, Martinez would certainly provide the coveted injection of youth at the Emirates, although Inter’s £77million valuation made the prospect less enticing.

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Even if the Gunners were prepared to stump up the money, their hopes were dashed after it was reported that his preference would be to move to one of Spain’s heavyweight clubs.

In light of this, Tuttosport indicate that Atletico are now leading the race to lure in Martinez, with an opening bid already on the table.

Diego Simeone’s side would be the true leaders in the hunt, given that the two other Spanish big boys, Real Madrid and Barcelona, have got bigger fish to fry.

For Los Blancos, they are probably stashing cash away for a future attempt to sign either Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland.

Meanwhile, Barca could only consider of offering £77m for a player in this day and age, given their current financial woes.

The only certain for the Gunners is that fact that Atletico’s opening offer, thought to be around £30m, is laughably short of Inter’s estimate.

Last season, Martinez capped off an exciting 17-goal, league-winning campaign with yet more silverware at the Copa America.

Despite his growing stature on the European stage, Inter are still in a position where they need to sell before they can buy, which could be a necessary evil for their new manager and his plans.

Martinez’s strike partner, Romelu Lukaku, has been the only player kept truly under lock and key this summer, with all others probably expendable at the right price.

If the Argentine did seal a move to Atletico as Arsenal supporters fear, he would follow in the footsteps of landsman Sergio Aguero who spent five fruitful years at the Wanda Metropolitano early in his career.

For Arteta, it would be another case of failing to land an avid target. The lack of European football has made life difficult for them so far this summer, although they did state the high-profile £50m signing of Ben White last week.

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Arsenal suffer Lautaro Martinez transfer setback as Mikel Arteta endeavors to sign new striker

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