Arsenal have been dealt a blow with Racing Club striker Lautaro Martinez closing in on a move to Inter Milan.
The 20-year-old is reportedly on his way to the San Siro for €20.2m in the summer.
Martinez has made more than 30 appearances in all competitions for Racing, scoring 13 goals. He’s netted seven goals in 11 games for Argentina u20s too. Arsenal were in the running to sign him, but Inter Milan have won the race for his signature.
The South American centre-forward is believed to have agreed a five-year-deal and admitted he’s held talks with Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio and former striker Diego Milito.
“I met Ausilio and he told me about Inter. He told me things that I’d already heard from [former Inter Milan strike Diego] Milito,” Martinez told Ole, who say Atlético Madrid, AS Monaco, Real Madrid and Torino were also keen on the 20-year-old.
He added: “My future? I’m happy to stay at Racing for now. Negotiations between the two clubs are for my agent. I’m definitely staying here until June, so I can’t afford to think of anything else.”
While a blow for Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger might not be too disappointed given they’ve strengthened their attack heavily in the January transfer window – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed from Borussia Dortmund and Henrik Mkhitaryan made the switch from Manchester United.
Arsenal also have Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck and Eddie Nketiah who are capable of playing up front this season, so the Gunners aren’t short of options in the final third. There was a lot of competition to land Martinez, but Wenger will now have to cast his eye on other targets.
Stats from Transfermarkt.