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Chelsea, Manchester City to challenge Barcelona for Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martínez — report

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Competition

FC Internazionale Training Session Photo by Claudio Villa - Inter/Inter via Getty Images

According to Spanish tabloid Sport (via Sport Witness), Chelsea and Manchester City are set to challenge Barcelona for the signature of Inter Milan centre forward Lautaro Martínez in the summer.

This isn’t the first time Chelsea have been linked with the 22-year-old, though at the time Barcelona were very much thought to be alone out front for his signature.

Martínez arrived at Inter Milan from Argentinian side Racing Club in the summer of 2018 following three seasons of delightful performances against top clubs in his home country and the rest of South America in the Copa Libertadores. Martínez had drawn interest from several European clubs at the time, including Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, but Inter won the race.

While he was not able to do much in his debut season, spending most of his time as a rotational player and scoring only 9 times in 35 matches across all competitions, he stepped up to the plate this season under Antonio Conte, with 16 goals in 31 matches, including 5 in the Champions League group stages.

Thus, interest on Martínez is once again high. Barcelona still appear as the likeliest destination, but Chelsea and Manchester City are also in the chase and the report claims that one of those two already made an “off-market offer” for him, whatever that means. Manchester United were also sniffing around, but they had an approach rejected by Inter.

Whatever (and whenever) happens, Martínez will not be cheap. He has a release clause set at €111m that lasts from July 1 to July 15, and it is likely that Inter will ask for a similar figure even if clubs decide to bid for him outside of that window. That said, he might be an investment worth taking.