Arsenal chief Edu can secure Lautaro Martinez transfer if Gunners complete three sales

Arsenal have been linked with an ambitious move for Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez, who has emerged as one of Europe’s best strikers during his time at the San Siro. The Gunners are believed to be looking for a top-class operator to lead the line next season, with technical director Edu setting his sights on the 23-year-old marksman.

Martinez scored 19 goals in all competitions last time around to help fire Inter to their first Serie A title in a decade.

He also played a role in Argentina’s recent Copa America triumph, finding the net in each of the three matches he played in the tournament.

A move for a player of Martinez’s calibre is likely to be difficult to engineer for Edu and Arsenal, especially without the all-important lure of European competition.

The Gunners will need to be prepared to break the bank, with Inter determined to keep hold of the forward into next season and beyond, according to The Telegraph.

Money talks in football, though, and a monumental offer has the potential to tempt the Italian giants into a change of heart.

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Meanwhile, a hefty wage packet for Martinez could soften the blow of giving up on Champions League football.

Arsenal have already spent around £23million on the signings of Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares since the end of last season.

This figure is expected to skyrocket within the next week or so, with Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White reportedly closing in on a £50m move to the Emirates Stadium.

Edu may need to supplement his transfer kitty with a number of player sales in order to fund an appropriate bid for Martinez this summer, but the 43-year-old has no shortage of options to choose from.

Hector Bellerin is widely expected to leave Arsenal ahead of the new campaign, with Inter said to be keeping tabs on the Spaniard.


He struggled to impress at times last season as the Gunners slumped to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League, and could serve as the perfect makeweight in a part-exchange deal that would see Martinez move the other way.

However, if Inter decide to reject such a proposal, Edu could benefit from prioritising Bellerin’s departure through a move elsewhere, with Paris Saint-Germain also believed to be keen on the defender.

Eddie Nketiah also looks to be facing an uncertain future in north London and has reportedly been the subject of considerable Premier League interest since the turn of the year.

Brighton, West Ham United and Crystal Palace have all been credited with a desire to sign the 22-year-old, who has often struggled to hold down a first-team spot with his current employers and will be out of contract at the end of next season.

Given his proven goalscoring ability and high potential to succeed, Nketiah is another misfiring Arsenal star that could still be sold for a decent chunk in spite of his contract situation to enable a lucrative approach for Martinez.

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If Edu is able to negotiate the exits of Bellerin and Nketiah for respectable transfer fees, he may be inclined to shift Reiss Nelson in order to provide an additional boost.

The winger has shown flashes of brilliance when called upon by Mikel Arteta, but like Nketiah, first-team opportunities have been few and far between.

Nelson excelled during a loan spell with Hoffenheim three seasons ago and there is believed to be interest from Germany once again this summer.

Arsenal could reap the rewards of cashing in on the 21-year-old, Bellerin and Nketiah, with the benefits of Martinez’s presence in attack outweighing the drawbacks of losing two fringe players and a long-serving defender.

It remains to be seen whether Edu will be able to complete a successful move for the Inter forward this summer, with Arsenal’s interest serving as evidence of their ambition to kick on under Arteta’s leadership.

However, the Gunners will need to act diligently in order to stand any chance of striking a deal with the Italian champions before the Premier League season finally gets underway next month.