Lautaro Martinez takes swipe at Romelu Lukaku as Juventus target Chelsea loan agreement

Lautaro Martinez has hit out at former Inter striker partner Romelu Lukaku (Image: Getty)

Lautaro Martinez has shared his frustration at being betrayed by close friend Romelu Lukaku after the Belgian turned his back on Inter Milan by pursuing transfer talks with Juventus. The Champions League finalists had been keen on making the Chelsea striker’s loan move permanent this summer but they have since walked away from the deal after learning of Lukaku’s discussions with arch rivals Juve.

Martinez, who was recently elected as Inter’s new captain, formed a unique bond and partnership with the Blues flop during their time together at San Siro and now he has hit out at Lukaku for refusing to answer his calls.

“I was disappointed, it’s the truth,” Martinez said during a bombshell interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I also tried to call him in those days of chaos, he never answered me. The same he did with my other companions. After so many years together, after so many things lived together, I was disappointed. Thankfully, it’s his choice. I wish him the best.”

Inter have already retracted their interest and despite a late U-turn from Lukaku, who recently tried to salvage the move by attempting to contact sporting director Piero Ausilio, he has now burned all bridges in Milan.

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Lautaro Martinez says Romelu Lukaku has ignored his calls (Image: Getty)

Chelsea are desperate to offload the £97.5million flop who has no future at the club after being left behind for their pre-season tour of the United States by Mauricio Pochettino.

Juventus are continuing to press for an agreement but they can only offer a loan with a £35m option-to-buy due to their restricted finances.

The Old Lady would only be prepared to pay that figure upfront this summer if they can find a buyer for Dusan Vlahovic.

Lukaku is also continuing to reject interest from Saudi Arabia, most notably Al Hilal who made a concrete bid to sign the former Everton and Manchester United centre-forward.

Inter’s ultras recently made their feelings clear on Lukaku’s conduct during a fiery statement which read: “We will never see you again from now on Lukaku.

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“You have betrayed us all. We’ve always stood up for you in tough times, now you’re stabbing us in the back. You sell yourself to the highest bidder after kissing our badge as a cheap mercenary. Before you can be a champion you have to be a man and you’re not one.”

Speaking last August when Lukaku rejoined Inter on loan from Chelsea, Martinez revealed he’d been in daily contact with his striker partner in a bid to make the deal happen.

Martinez told SkyItalia in 2022: “I am very happy he came back because he said we need to battle against everyone. He’ll give us a big hand and we will continue battling alongside him.

“We kept in contact and spoke every day from the moment he left. He is a great help to this team.

Juventus want to sign Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chelsea (Image: Getty)

“We all want to keep improving, we have four talented strikers and all bring different characteristics.”

Chelsea boss Pochettino recently confirmed the Blues were trying to move the player on, stating: “It is the club and of course it is an interesting situation.

“When this type of decision is [made, it is] because they all agree. The player and club are working hard to try and find the best solution.’

“It is obvious the decision had been made on the side of the player also. We act in consequence of the decision. The club and player are in the position they wanted.”