Erik ten Hag wants a young striker to be Manchester United’s talisman next season. And reports have suggested the Dutchman is eyeing Lautaro Martinez, who has dazzled for Inter Milan in recent years. That speaks volumes about the 52-year-old and the type of forward he wants at Old Trafford as he sets about reeling in the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City next season.
Over the weekend, reports suggested that United had tried to use Anthony Martial in a swap deal to land Martinez.
The France international has been deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, having often struggled for consistency since his arrival from Monaco in 2015.
But Inter have said no.
At the current moment in time, the Serie A giants only want cash to part ways with their 24-year-old forward – who has scored 16 league goals this term.
Yet the fact United are seemingly eyeing Martinez suggests he’s the type of player Ten Hag wants to lead his attack.
Erik ten Hag: Man Utd’s 25-man squad for next season with six signings
Some teams in the top flight play with a target man, such as Chelsea with Romelu Lukaku.
Others go with no striker at all, like Pep Guardiola has done with Manchester City throughout much of the season.
But Ten Hag, it seems, want a player capable of scoring goals and using their speed to cause opposition problems.
And Martinez would certainly fit the bill, having been a substantial hit since his arrival from Racing in 2018.
At Inter, he’s a workhorse up top.
Want the latest football news? Join our brand new Facebook group by clicking here
And the last player United had who worked similarly hard, up top, was fellow South American Carlos Tevez.
Ten Hag wants to build an exciting team in his own image, while he’ll also have a big budget to use this summer.
And Martinez would be a good way of ensuring his time at Old Trafford gets off to a spectacular start.
While Inter have declined their swap deal, United may now try again.
They have a good relationship with the reigning Scudetto holders, having negotiated several deals in recent years.
Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young have all been allowed to swap United for the San Siro.
So this, certainly, seems a transfer saga to keep an eye on.
Meanwhile, speaking earlier in the season, Martinez’s agent Alejandro Camano has said that the South American is not looking to leave San Siro – in comments that deal a blow to United.
“No, he’s very happy at Inter,” Camano told FCInter1908 when asked whether his client is keen to move clubs.
“Lautaro doesn’t care about Lautaro. Lautaro cares about Inter.
“Because he wants to contribute, he wants the fans to be happy, he wants to make his club happy with him.”