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Manchester City to rival Barcelona for Lautaro Martinez?

Man City to rival Barcelona for Lautaro Martinez?
© Reuters
Manchester City are reportedly ready to rival Barcelona for Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez after seeing their two-year European ban lifted.

Manchester City have reportedly earmarked Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez as a possible transfer target after seeing their two-year European ban lifted.

Pep Guardiola's side were cleared to compete in next season's Champions League after a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with the decision also enabling them to press ahead with their summer transfer plans.

City are expected to undergo a significant squad overhaul after surrendering their Premier League title to Liverpool this season, while key players such as David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho are coming towards the end of their careers at the Etihad Stadium.

The Daily Mail reports that Martinez could form a part of that overhaul as a long-term replacement for fellow Argentina international Aguero.

The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona this summer, but the Spanish champions' president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed this week that talks are currently on hold.

Barca are understood to be struggling to meet Inter's asking price, with the Serie A giants unwilling to consider anything less than his £98.8m release clause and attempts to strike a player-plus-cash deal so far proving unsuccessful.

Martinez has scored 18 goals and created six more in 39 appearances across all competitions this season.

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Lautaro Martinez in action for Inter Milan on July 13, 2020
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Bartomeu confirms talks for Martinez are on hold
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd391813867373067
4Chelsea392061370571366
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Everton401411154858-1053
12Southampton38157165160-952
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

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