Chelsea have twice stopped Tottenham signing incredible £94m striker

Lautaro Martinez has been prevented from moving to Tottenham by Chelsea on two occasions. (Image: Getty)

Chelsea have twice prevented rivals Tottenham Hotspur from signing goal-machine Lautaro Martinez because of the Blues’ own transfer dealings. Martinez is considered one of the best strikers in European football and is in the midst of a stellar season with Inter Milan, but had things worked out differently, he could’ve been lining up for Spurs instead.

It focuses on Chelsea’s relationship – or at times, lack thereof – with Romelu Lukaku, who arrived at Stamford Bridge as part of a £97.5million deal with Inter Milan back in the summer of 2021. Pitched as the missing piece to at-the-time manager Thomas Tuchel’s squad, Lukaku failed to make the required impact at Stamford Bridge, with the Belgian managing just 15 goals in 44 appearances all season.

Elsewhere in the capital that summer, Spurs themselves were looking to snatch one of Inter’s strikers, this time Martinez. Alongside Lukaku, Martinez had helped fire the Milan-based side to the Serie A title the season before, with Tottenham reportedly willing to pay £60million for the Argentine’s services.

Romelu Lukaku’s move to Chelsea could’ve prevented Spurs from signing Lautaro Martinez. (Image: Getty)

Of course, it’s a move that didn’t transpire, as Inter were only willing to let one of their strikers leave that summer, with the San Siro outfit prioritising the more lucrative deal. However, fast forward two summers and that interest in Martinez from Tottenham hadn’t disappeared, but once again Chelsea’s transfer business got in the way of any potential move.

Martinez – who is currently valued at £94 million by Transfermarkt – was on Spurs’ radar in the summer of 2023, ahead of a possible transfer to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This time things were different for Spurs though, as talisman Harry Kane had been allowed to leave that same window, with the England captain penning a £100million move to Bayern Munich.

Much to the frustration of the Spurs hierarchy, any approach for Martinez was again blocked because of Chelsea and Lukaku, as the west Londoners didn’t allow the Belgian striker to join Inter on a permanent deal. Instead, Lukaku left for fellow Serie A outfit Roma on a season-long loan, meaning Inter had no desire at all to let Martinez leave the club.

It’s a sliding doors moment that appears even more irritating for Tottenham now, given Martinez’s form for the Nerazzurri. The 26-year-old forward has netted 25 goals across 33 outings for Inter this season, with the Serie A outfit currently six points clear with a game in hand at the top of the table – oh what could’ve been for Ange Postecoglou’s side!