Manchester United are facing disappointment in their attempts to join the race for Inter Milan ahead of Lautaro Martinez, sources told ESPN, with the 22-year-old striker clearly promoting a summer move to Barcelona.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who failed to persuade Erling Haaland to reject Borussia Dortmund for Old Trafford following his exit from FC Salzburg last month, wants to add at least one striker to his squad during the summer window, with Argentina forward Martinez emerging as a higher target.
The 22-year-old striker, who has established himself in the Argentina squad alongside Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, has become one of the most wanted young strikers in Europe since joining Inter Racing Club for ’20 million in 2018.
United’s scout team believes it fits the profile of the opportunity to develop and realize its potential at Old Trafford. But Solskjaer’s team face serious competition for Martinez, nicknamed ‘The Taurus’, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City all monitoring the player, who has a release clause of 111 million euros in his Inter contract.
United have been informed that Barcelona are favourites to land Martinez at the end of the season due to the striker’s preference for a move to the Nou Camp to play alongside his international team-mate Messi at club level.
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United are already preparing to bring Alexis Sanchez back to Old Trafford this summer following his one-season loan at Inter.
And they could still reach a permanent deal for Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo following his six-month loan change from Chinese club Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.