Manchester United are reportedly ready to cough up £42m and send Anthony Martial to San Siro in order to secure the signature of Inter Milan‘s Lautaro Martinez.
While Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to stay on at Old Trafford for the 2022-23 season, the futures of the rest of United’s strikers are all being called into question ahead of the summer window.
Edinson Cavani is expected to leave as a free agent when his deal expires, and the 35-year-old is allegedly closing in on a return to South America with Boca Juniors.
Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford‘s struggles for form and starts under Ralf Rangnick has seen the England international linked with a move elsewhere in the summer, but he could be handed a lifeline under new manager Erik ten Hag.
Mason Greenwood remains suspended by the club following his arrest earlier in the year, but the Red Devils are due to welcome Martial back from his underwhelming loan spell at Sevilla this summer.
The 26-year-old’s fortunes have not improved since he made the move to Julen Lopetegui‘s side on a temporary basis in the January window, registering just one goal and one assist in 11 games for the La Liga outfit.
Martial also started a mere two Premier League games in the first half of the 2021-22 season, and he is expected to be one of the names on the chopping block amid reports of United readying a £12m payoff for the former Monaco man.
However, Martial could now be used in a part-exchange deal for Martinez, according to Italian journalist Marco Barzaghi, who claims that the Red Devils are also willing to add £42m into the mix for the Argentine.
After firing 17 goals and providing 10 assists in 38 Serie A matches en route to the Scudetto last season, Martinez has kept up his strong form under Simone Inzaghi with an identical number of strikes in 32 league matches so far this season.
The 24-year-old has been persistently linked with moves to Barcelona, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur over the past couple of years but demonstrated his commitment to Inter by signing a new deal until 2026 back in the autumn.
Martinez and his representatives have always affirmed that the South American is happy with life at San Siro, and Barzaghi adds that Inter are not interested in welcoming Martial to the club this summer.
Inzaghi’s side would allegedly be open to a sale for straight cash given their recent financial turmoil, but Martinez’s recent contract extension puts them in a strong position to demand a large fee.
Furthermore, if Martinez was to head elsewhere in the summer transfer window, Manchester City and Liverpool are believed to be his favoured destinations rather than Old Trafford.
Martinez’s goal in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Udinese represented his 70th strike in 177 games for Inter since his 2018 arrival from Racing Club, with the reigning Italian champions two points adrift of AC Milan at the top of the standings with three games left to play.
Martial, meanwhile, has scored 79 goals and set up 50 more in 269 games for Man United, but his existing contract at the Theatre of Dreams now has just over two years left to run.
Should Man United’s pursuit of Martinez fail to bear fruit, the Red Devils could turn their attention to Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, and they have supposedly been handed a recent boost in their pursuit of the Uruguayan.