Real Madrid are ready to make Lautaro Martinez the most expensive Argentinian in football history this summer.
Martinez, 22, is attracting plenty of attention this season amid his solid form in front of goal for Inter Milan – with 16 goals under his belt in 28 appearances so far.
It is believed Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona are all considering making a move for the striker when the summer transfer window opens.
And according to TyC Sports, Madrid are planning to activate Martinez’s €120m [£100m] Inter release clause at the end of the season.
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That would make him the most expensive Argentinian star of all time, smashing the £75m record set by Gonzalo Higuain when he left Napoli for Juventus in 2016.
Barca were hopeful that Martinez’s friendship with compatriot Lionel Messi would hand them a significant advantage in the race for his signature.
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But their bitter rivals are prepared to offer the Inter ace a bumper contract to lure him to the Bernabeu instead.
Martinez has been identified by Barca as an ideal replacement for veteran frontman Luis Suarez, who at 33 is well and truly in the twilight of his career.
And legendary manager Fabio Capello insists Martinez reminds him of the Uruguayan.
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“I like him very much. He works hard and is mentally strong,” the former Madrid and AC Milan boss said.
“He reminds me of Luis Suarez in the way he runs and he has similar qualities to him too.
“Up until a few months ago many of my colleagues criticised Lautaro and said that everything he did was wrong and that he could not convert his chances.
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“I saw things differently. I have always thought he was very good because he was always in the right places at the right time, the chances he was getting do not happen by chance.
“Nowadays many people think that Lautaro is an excellent player.”
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barca will launch a £93m offer for Martinez in the summer market.
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Nevertheless, they are also being linked with a move for Real Sociedad forward Willian Jose, who has bagged 46 goals in 114 games for the Basque-based side.
Tottenham and Manchester United held an interest in the player last month but failed to get a deal over the line.
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