Inter Milan have won the race ahead of three fellow European superpowers for young Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez, with the player expected to make the switch in the summer, according to reports.
The 20-year-old had been closely monitored by Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid, with the latter previously submitting a bid of around €12m (£10.5m) in order to secure the highly thought of talisman’s services.
However, according to AS, the Serie A side have pipped their continent rivals to the youngster after activating his €18m (£15.8m) release clause, with the deal expected to be tied up in June.
#Inter Nuovi passi avanti per Lautaro Martinez, accordo con gli agenti e adesso Ausilio in Argentina per chiudere col Racing. Operazione da 15 milioni con bonus per luglio 🇦🇷
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 2, 2018
It is thought that Inter prospered from their relationships with Racing Club, where Martinez currently plays, manager Diego Milito, who is still a favourite amongst the San Siro hierarchy following his five-year spell with the Italian side from 2009-2014.
The report claims that Nerazzurri are keen to bolster their attacking line up this summer ahead of the apparent imminent sale of their star-striker Mauro Icardi, who has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid.
TALENT OF THE DAY
Player role: complete forward
Strengths: finishing, instinct, heading, athleticism, movement, technique, dribbling
Market value: 10M€
Similar type of player: Radamel Falcao
Potential: 9/10 pic.twitter.com/bg7wCOFeXS
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) February 1, 2018
There were hushed whispers that Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane were keen to land the 24-year-old on deadline day following their struggles to find the back of the net in La Liga so far this term, however no such move materialised.
It is thought, however, that Los Blancos will return to their interest following the conclusion of this season, with a figure in the region of €100m (£87.8m) reportedly required in order to prise the Argentine away from Inter.