Arsenal’s slim hopes of signing Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan this summer are on the verge of going up in smoke – all because of London rivals Chelsea. Reports emerged in the past stating that technical director Edu had asked Inter for information on the Argentine’s future.
Martinez has previously agreed a contract extension at the San Siro but the club’s financial difficulties have prevented the formalisation of the deal.
The Argentine international has since seen Barcelona cool their interest due to a lack of funds and having now won Serie A, the striker would be open-minded about something new.
Arsenal enquired about 23-year-old during talks with Inter over a deal for Hector Bellerin.
They were encouraged by what they were told and the sale of Martinez was not entirely ruled out.
Now Chelsea have reignited their interest in Lukaku and a deal now looks highly likely to the despair of Inter.
The Blues are prepared to offer up to £111million for his services plus Marco Alonso as a sweetener in the proposal.
It’s an offer Inter simply cannot refuse, however much they wanted to keep Lukaku.
But it then consolidates their position on Lautaro and losing both of their star strikers is completely out of the question.
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Should Lukaku join Chelsea, Martinez will become untouchable even if Arsenal somehow find the money to table a credible bid for his services.
A striker remains in Arsenal’s long-term thinking, particularly with Lacazette now into the final two years of his deal.
The Gunners want to avoid repeating their mistakes of the past in letting players run down their contracts.
Tammy Abraham could re-enter Arsenal’s thinking if Chelsea do get a deal for Lukaku over the line.