Manchester City have been linked with a move for Inter striker Lautaro Martinez in recent weeks and the Argentinian could be a superb addition to Pep Guardiola’s squad.
According to FC Inter News (via Sport Witness), the Spanish manager considers the 23-year-old the ‘perfect heir’ for Sergio Aguero, who looks likely to leave the Citizens this summer when his contract with the club expires.
Martinez has established himself as a top striker in European football in recent years, having contributed 36 goals and 10 assists in 96 appearances for I Nerazzurri since joining from Racing Club in 2018.
The young striker has also been prolific in his appearances for his national side, having grabbed 10 goals for Argentina in just 19 caps (per Transfermarkt).
It is no surprise, therefore, that Lionel Messi is a big fan of the 23-year-old and with Barcelona also reportedly interested in signing him, the legendary winger was full of praise for Martinez in an interview with Mundo Deportivo earlier this year, saying:
“Lautaro is an impressive forward, especially because I think he is a very complete striker: he is strong, he dribbles well, he has a goal, he knows how to protect the ball.”
In a previous interview with the same publication, Messi was extremely complimentary of him, saying:
“He is spectacular, he has impressive conditions, you could see that he was going to be a great player, now he exploded and is showing it.”
Therefore, the Barcelona man is clearly a big fan of Martinez and would love to see him join Barcelona but he could be the perfect man for Manchester City.
Whilst Gabriel Jesus has performed fairly well in his time with the club, having scored 71 goals in 158 appearances for the Citizens, it seems unlikely that he will get close to Aguero’s superb record with the club.
Martinez meanwhile, has been excellent in his performances so far this season, with five goals in just six Serie A appearances, resulting in a solid average rating of 7.10/10 (per WhoScored).
If the Inter man could perform the target-man role in City’s squad as well as Messi clearly feels he can, then he could work extremely well with the likes of Raheem Sterling in Guardiola’s squad, as he could hold onto the ball and slip the rapid winger in behind opposition defences.
Whilst he won’t come cheap, with Transfermarkt valuing the striker at £63 million, the 23-year-old could be a top striker in City’s side for easily the next eight or nine years so we feel that he’s well worth the price Inter would demand.
And, in other news… Manchester City can sign their long-term Fernandinho replacement in £36m beast