According to reports from Italy, Manchester United intend to battle Barcelona and Tottenham for the signature of Lautaro Martinez from Inter.
Calcio Mercato suggest that with the Argentine soon to turn 26, he will be looking to make a big move in the summer.
Martinez he is said to like Barcelona but is more open to a move to the Premier League, opening the door for the Red Devils and Spurs to compete for his signature.
The report suggests the Inter striker could have an “important sponsor” in Lisandro Martinez, with the two players linked by international commitments.
Both won the World Cup in Qatar two months ago and could be set for more success together at Old Trafford.
With United in desperate need of a centre-forward, Lautaro could be an interesting option for Erik ten Haga.
The forward presses relentlessly and his energy can combine well with the dynamic style the Dutchman prefers.
The counter-press has been an important part of United’s game plan at various times this season and a centre-forward capable of leading the press could play an invaluable role when the Ten Hag form their team.
Lautaro also an excellent dribbler with a good record in front of goal during his time in Italy. Given that United also lack a clinical finisher, this could also benefit the team.
However, Calcio Mercato estimates the price of the Argentine star at around €100 million, which could be quite a risky bet.
Martinez lacks some important qualities that Ten Haag usually looked for in his centre-forwards. First, he is very much like a face-to-face striker, often relying on players like Edin Dzeko to do the back-to-the-goal work normally required of a centre-forward in today’s game.
In fact, Lautaro rarely played as a lone striker and his attempts to do so for Argentina at the World Cup led to some unorthodox performances, which saw Lionel Scaloni prefer Julian Alvarez to Manchester city in front.
That should be cause for concern for a team looking to sign Inter Milan for a one-striker system like Manchester United.
At 5’9 and winning just 1.27 aerial duels per game, which puts him in just the 36th percentile among Big Five forwards (fbref), the back line is under pressure.
The very fact that 6ft 6in Wot Weghorst was included as a temporary rest during this transfer window suggests that Ten Hag would prefer some aerial skills.
Thus, although Lautaro Martinez has certain qualities that could help Manchester United in the centre-forward position, his lack of others certainly makes a €100m bet unlikely.