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Manchester United, Arsenal dealt blow in pursuit of Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez

Man Utd, Arsenal dealt blow in pursuit of Lautaro Martinez
© Reuters
Premier League duo Manchester United and Arsenal suffer a blow in their pursuit of Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez ahead of the summer transfer window.

Premier League duo Manchester United and Arsenal have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez.

The 26-year-old has established himself as a star player at San Siro and as one of the most prolific strikers in Europe since joining the Nerazzurri from Racing Club in 2018.

Martinez has scored 128 goals in 278 appearances for Inter across all competitions, including 23 strikes in 26 Serie A outings so far this season - seven more than his nearest challenger Dusan Vlahovic (16).

The Argentina international will soon be lifting his first Scudetto as captain of Inter after they beat arch rivals AC Milan 2-1 at San Siro on Monday to secure their 20th Italian top-flight title with five matches to spare.

Martinez also won the Serie A title with Inter in 2020-21, while he has also lifted two Coppa Italias, three Supercoppa Italianas and reached the Champions League final with Inter last season, losing out to Manchester City.

Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez celebrates scoring their first goal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan on January 6, 2024© Reuters

Who holds an interest in Lautaro Martinez?

Martinez's long-term future at Inter has been questioned in recent months amid reported interest from clubs in the Premier League, including Man United and Arsenal.

The Red Devils are allegedly exploring the possibility of luring Martinez to Old Trafford this summer and are said to be keeping tabs on the striker's contract situation.

Arsenal are also said to be weighing up a possible move for the 2022 World Cup winner, who is believed to be one of a number of centre-forward targets on Mikel Arteta's radar.

Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid have also been credited with an interest in Martinez, who is due to see his contract expire in the summer of 2026.

Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez celebrates scoring their second goal on November 4, 2023© Reuters

Martinez planning to commit his future to Inter Milan

However, all those interested suitors have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Martinez, who has expressed his desire to sign a new deal with the Italian giants.

Speaking to Italian media after securing the Serie A title with victory over AC Milan on Monday, Martinez was asked to provide an update on his contract situation, and he said: "We have to find an agreement with the club. I'm super happy now, it's time to celebrate. I hope it will happen.

"We must continue on this path, since I arrived we have started an important journey. Now we want to continue on this path, we always want more."

Meanwhile, Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio has confirmed that the club are keen to renew the contracts of both Martinez and midfielder Nicolo Barella, who has also been linked with an exit and, like Martinez, will see his current deal expire in 2026.

"We want to close Lautaro's renewal by the start of next season, we absolutely want to extend," said Ausilio. "Not only Lautaro, so I'll give you more news...but we also want to get Nicolo Barella's new deal done soon".

Both Martinez and Barella remain key players for Simone Inzaghi and are expected to be involved in Inter's next league match at home against Torino on Saturday.

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