Arsenal were heavily linked with a move for Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez over the summer but the forward stayed with Inter Milan and is now ready to sign a new deal that will come with an £85m price tag.

June 1, 2021: Lautaro Martinez of FC Internazionale during the Serie A 2020/21 season at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino in Turin, Italy. Copyright: Reporter Torino
June 1, 2021: Lautaro Martinez of FC Internazionale during the Serie A 2020/21 season at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino in Turin, Italy. Copyright: Reporter Torino

Arsenal wanted to replace Alexandre Lacazette in the summer but their inability to move the Frenchman on meant that they couldn’t bring in another striker.

They were linked with a quite a few, too.

Tammy Abraham was the most likely player to arrive, the Chelsea man holding out for Arsenal. In the end, he moved to Roma when it became clear Arsenal weren’t going to be able to find both the money to buy him, because they couldn’t sell Lacazette, and the space for him in their squad.

Abraham cost the Italians £36m.

Lautaro Martinez, valued at twice that price, was another heaving linked with Arsenal.

Although it all seemed like fanciful paper nonsense at the start, the rumour solidified more as the summer wore on.

David Ornstein confirmed Arsenal’s interest in the 23-year-old, with Lacazette mentioned as part of any possible deal.

The Athletic also suggested that Martinez would be interested in a move to Arsenal if a deal could be found.

Hector Bellerin was also mentioned, with the Spaniard said to have already found a deal with the Italians at the time.

Then reports came that Tottenham had agreed a £60m+ deal for the forward but Martinez’s agent said the player was happy where he was.

“Lautaro is happy at Inter and in Italy,” Alejandro Caamano said. “His decision is to stay.”

“The relationship with Inter is perfect. Lautaro is calm, it is true that there were offers but today he is comfortable and we will sit down to talk about the future.”

Apparently, Spurs were willing to go as high as €90m as they tried to sign a player they said wasn’t a replacement for Harry Kane but everybody knew was.

Now, Martinez is close to agreeing a new five-year deal with the Italians which could well have been his end goal all along, using the links of Arsenal and Tottenham to drive a better deal for himself.

Either way, his price tag has will increase further when he signs the deal.

Meanwhile, by the time next summer rolls around, Alexandre Lacazette will be worth absolutely nothing to Arsenal as his contract expires.

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