Last summer, the talk of much of the year was the arrival of Lautaro Martinez in either Manchester or Barcelona. Both Manchester City and Barcelona were keen on signing the Argentine, who had impressed hugely since arriving in Italy. However, talk of a move soon fizzled out as the financial reality of Barcelona’s existence became visible. Instead, there was talk that the striker might wait and make a move to Manchester, becoming the long-term replacement for Sergio Kun Aguero. Now, though, it looks like he might stay in Italy after all – a new deal for the Inter forward is on the table, ready to be collected.
The 23-year-old has become one of the leading forwards in the European game, impressing hugely since arriving from Racing Club. Already, he has become a leading light in a front pairing for Inter that sees him work alongside Romelu Lukaku in one of the best strike pairings in the world today. However, there is natural uncertainty about whether or not Martinez would stick around; already, talk of an exit was appearing within six months of arriving in Italy.
And with Inter in the midst of a management crisis at boardroom level, it was expected they might look to sell up to raise funds. Coach Antonio Conte, though, has worked well with Martinez and, it is believed, was keen on keeping the striker at the club. Therefore, we might see a change of approach from Inter; instead of looking to cash in on the forward for a more ‘win now’ target, they instead will focus on keeping him as part of their medium-term future.
Why will Lautaro Martinez stay at Inter?
There are three main reasons. For one, the Inter sporting project is showing signs of growth. Despite missing out on the chance to progress in the UEFA Champions League and also missing out on the Coppa Italia once again, Inter are competing for the league title consistently. It has been a long time since Inter put together a proper title challenge in two consecutive seasons; this, then, is a major reason for sticking around.
However, the other reason stems from the lack of options on the market. Barcelona was once seen as the most exciting offer, but the clubs financial woes make it unlikely that they could do a deal for the Argentine. City, too, are also keen on other strikers, with Erling Haaland believed to be chief among their wants in the summer window.
As such, the window is not really open for someone like Martinez to move on. There is no real candidate that feels 100% right for him on a sporting and economic level. Add in the fact that he has blossomed alongside Lukaku, and it would make sense for all parties involved for Martinez to sign a new deal.
The economic reality of the European club scene means that, for all Barcelona might want the forward, affording him is a totally different discussion altogether.