For a while last summer, it looked as though Tottenham Hotspur were set to make a huge splash in the summer transfer window by signing Inter Milan and Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez. New manager Antonio Conte knew the player well and rode the partnership of Martinez and Romelu Lukaku to Inter’s first scudetto in years, breaking Juventus’ streak of Serie A titles in the process.
But we know what happened next: Chelsea decided to drop £100m to purchase Lukaku — a player mostly languishing on the Blues’ bench this season — which scuttled any chance Spurs had of buying Lautaro, as Inter had no intention of losing BOTH of their starting strikers in one summer.
Well, now there’s maybe a some (small) hope that Spurs could get their man after all. Gianluca DiMarzio gave an interview with German outlet Wettfreunde where, among other topics, he talked about Lautaro, and specifically suggested that Spurs were still interested in him as both a complement to and possible replacement for Harry Kane. Unfortunately, Tottenham aren’t the only possible destination.
Translation is provided here courtesy of Get Italian Football News.
“I think it could be the summer of Lautaro and Atletico Madrid or Tottenham could be perfect solutions for him but I know that he’d like to go to (Atletico) Madrid.
“Tottenham, because I think Tottenham will go forward to Lautaro (Martinez), they wanted him last summer as they want another striker because they have to sell (Harry) Kane.
“They want another striker to play with Kane or prepare the future without Kane and Lautaro Martinez is one of the players that Fabio Paratici loves more. If he (Lautaro) had to choose another team and another tournament he would choose Atletico Madrid and Simeone.
I think that the economic situation of Inter, (they) can let Lautaro go if the offer will be really high. Inter demonstrated last summer that if they have to sell some important players, they’ll sell the player but the offer should be very, very high. Romelu Lukaku for €113 million, (Achraf) Hakimi for €70 million.”
“So, they will not sell Lautaro for less than €70 million. It depends on the market, depends on (Erling) Haaland, depends on (Kylian) Mbappe.”
So fine, it’s not exactly a bit flashing neon sign saying “WELCOME TO TOTTENHAM, LAUTARO.” But it’s not nothing. It does lend further credence to the idea that this summer could be one where Spurs spend some significant money to shore up their squad.
Lautaro would be a fantastic addition to this Spurs side. He’s continuing the good scoring form he displayed at Inter last year (14G+2A, 0.69 npG+A/90), this time in a rotating strike partnership with Eden Dzeko and Alexis Sanchez. He’s Inter’s leading scorer, and this is now the third straight season he’s scored more than 14 or more goals in a season. 2021-22 could shape up to be his most prolific season yet. He knows Antonio Conte and could very easily slip back into Conte’s tactics, either as part of a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 formation, or (panic!) as Kane’s replacement in the same system.
DiMarzio makes it clear that Spurs are the dark horse here — if Lautaro does leave, he’s got his eye on Atletico Madrid. But it does show a glimmer of Tottenham’s intent this summer — Kane’s future is up in the air and Spurs are going to need to address his future one way or the other in the coming months.
I’m trying not to get my hopes up. That’s always bad when you’re linking your hopes to Tottenham in the summer transfer window. But lordy, I really REALLY like Lautaro and think he would be a near ideal summer signing. Memo to Don Paratici: let’s do it and be legends.