Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez is reported to be the subject of interest from Manchester City. According to The Sun, Pep Guardiola is eyeing the 23-year-old as a long term replacement for Sergio Aguero. Martinez has forged a strong partnership with Romelu Lukaku in Inter’s attack. He notched up 14 goals in Serie A and 21 in all competitions for the Nerazzurri in the just concluded season.
His performance for both club and country has alerted top European sides with Barcelona emerging as front runners for his signature. But new reports suggest City have shown interest in the Argentine as a good choice to replace his countryman in the team’s attack. The Sun claims Guardiola is ready to sell some players to make room for the forward.
Aguero, who is already 32 has entered the last year of his contract with the club and could be on his way at the end of the coming campaign. He played no part in City’s recent elimination from the Champions League as he is still recovering from knee injury after undergoing surgery.
With no talks to extend his stay at the club, he is expected to be the next heavyweight departure after the likes of Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and David Silva.
Although Gabriel Jesus has proved in the last few months that he is ready to step into the City legend’s shoes, that may not be enough. If the club has learnt anything from the failure to replace Kompany, it is the importance of replacing a key member of the squad with a marquee signing. Hence, a top striker will likely be signed to replace Aguero.
But that may not be this summer as the team is well stocked in the position. With Lautaro valued at £81 million ($107m), City’s priority with regards to spending lies elsewhere.
After coming short once again in the Champions League due to defensive frailties, the priority is to solidify the back line. Despite signing Nathan Ake from Bournemouth, the club is expected to sign another center-back. Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is reported to be the main target.