Arsenal target sets deadline to decide future as £94m star 'getting close' to agreement

Mikel Arteta’s list of Arsenal striker targets may be about to shrink by one (Image: Getty)

In-demand star Lautaro Martinez has admitted he wants his future decided before Argentina’s first Copa America game on June 21. Arsenal are among the sides with a reported interest in Martinez, but the possibility of a summer swoop may soon be off the table, as the striker claims a new contract agreement with Inter Milan is ‘getting closer’.

The 26-year-old has been a staggeringly consistent goalscorer for Inter over the past six seasons. This term was his best yet as he found the net 24 times in 33 Serie A appearances.

With only two years remaining on his Inter deal, top clubs have reportedly been keeping an eye on Martinez’s situation in case the Nerazzurri decide to cash in while they can.

Valued at £94million by Transfermarkt, few clubs in world football would be able to afford the Argentina international. And his latest comments suggest he could soon be off limits completely as contract talks with Inter are moving in the right direction.

“We are getting close, there are a couple of things missing,” Martinez told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I said ‘this week’ because the season will end and because I want to fix everything before the Copa America.”

Argentina kick off their Copa America group stage campaign against Canada on June 21, with pre-tournament friendlies against Ecuador and Guatemala also on the horizon.

Lautaro Martinez wants his club future resolves before the Copa America (Image: Getty)

Inter therefore have just over three weeks to secure Martinez’s future. Although the frontman’s unavailability will come as a blow for the Gunners, a new contract announcement early in the summer would at least allow them to refine their list of attacking targets without heading down a dead end.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reportedly wants a new striker to compete with Kai Havertz at the spearhead of his side’s attack. Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah both struggled to make an impact in north London this season.

Newcastle United star Alexander Isak is believed to be Arteta’s dream signing. But the Magpies are sure to put up a tough fight before letting go of the Swede, who trailed only Erling Haaland and Cole Palmer in the 2023/24 Premier League scoring charts.

If Isak proves to be out of reach, the Gunners could move on to younger prospects such as Ajax’s Brian Brobbey or RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko – both of whom have been scouted extensively by Premier League runners-up.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1903805/arsenal-transfer-news-lautaro-martinez