Arsenal and Manchester City are set for a summer battle to sign Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan, with the striker in demand.

According to Calciomercato, interest in Lautaro Martinez is gaining momentum from the Premier League, with Arsenal and Manchester City vying for his signature. The Argentine is expected to be in high demand in the summer transfer window, as other clubs are also angling for a move.

Lautaro Martinez has become a central figure in Inter Milan’s attacking play. Following a terrific season under former boss Antonio Conte, during which he helped the team win the Serie A title, the Argentine forward has kept his momentum going, as the club are pushing to defend their title.

Many had expected his levels to drop a bit following Romelu Lukaku’s departure last summer. Instead, Martinez formed a similar partnership with new arrival Edin Dzeko and has scored 11 goals in 22 Serie A appearances.

But as Inter Milan manoeuvre through a tough financial situation, they might end up losing their forward to the riches of the Premier League in the coming summer window. The Italian giants managed to ward off interest from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham back in last August, but they might not be so lucky after the current season.

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While there is interest from Manchester United, their Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester City are seemingly in a battle for the 24-year-old Argentine international. Since Martinez signed a new deal at the start of the current season, Inter Milan will demand a significant transfer fee for their striker.

Arsenal are expected to sign a high profile striker in the summer or maybe two, depending on how Mikel Arteta plans for the transfer window. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has left the club, while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah could soon follow the Gabonese international, leaving the Gunners without a recognised striker.

The north Londoners are expected to have significant funds for another spending spree, and a big chunk of that could be spent on a striker. Signing Martinez would be a costly affair, considering his quality and the long-term prospect he brings along. They are also keeping tabs on alternatives and hold an interest in Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

Manchester City are also hunting for a new lead striker. Pep Guardiola has led his team to the top of the league, while they are on course to advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League without a recognised number nine. As they failed to lure Harry Kane away from Tottenham, Guardiola decided to play a more fluid system wherein Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish have taken up false nine roles this season.

But the Catalan coach is expected to bring in a new striker in the summer to add more goals to his team. And, Martinez has been identified as a target, as he could be well-suited for Manchester City’s tactics. The reigning English champions will be willing to pay a significant sum if the 24-year-old Argentine international becomes available.

If a transfer battle ensues between the Premier League giants, Inter Milan would be the one benefitting from it, as they can drive the price up. As for Martinez, he might be open to switching clubs and embracing the challenge that awaits in England, irrespective of which club he prefers.

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