Tottenham ‘can afford’ Martinez as replacement for Kane or Son

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte previews trip to Bournemouth

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Tottenham ‘can afford’ old transfer target Lautaro Martinez with Inter Milan demanding a £77.5million (€90m) fee for the Argentine forward, according to reports in Italy. Spurs chased Martinez in the summer of 2021 but had repeated offers knocked back by the Serie A giants. 

The north Londoners had been desperate to keep wantaway striker Harry Kane that summer. Chairman Daniel Levy rejected bids of up to £150m by Manchester City for the England captain. 

But Spurs also wanted to strengthen their attack under then-boss Nuno Espirito Santo. Inter ace Martinez was earmarked as a potential target. 

The Italians – who had just lost Antonio Conte as head coach – turned down offers from Spurs and were desperate for the player to remain having let Romelu Lukaku join Chelsea. But they could now allow the 25-year-old to join the Premier League club in January.

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According to Inter Live, the club want £77.5m for Martinez. Newcastle and Manchester United are also interested in a possible transfer. 

Newcastle are unlikely to make their move, though, given that they spent £60m on Alexander Isak. Man Utd could look at alternative options – potentially giving Spurs a free run at Martinez. 

The Argentina international has enjoyed a successful season so far, scoring seven times across all competitions. After being denied the opportunity to join Spurs a year ago, he went on to bag 25 times for the Nerazzurri.

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It remains to be seen where Martinez would fit into Spurs’ attack, given that Conte already has Kane, Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison and Lucas Moura. A deal could be dependent on either Kane or Son departing. 

Conte insisted earlier this month that Spurs could need several transfer windows to properly challenge in the Premier League and Champions League. The club has stuttered of late, failing to win their last three matches. 

“I think last season it was a great achievement for the club to play in the Champions League. Last season, we weren’t able to face two competitions,” Conte, who has not extended his contract beyond next summer, said earlier in October.

“We have to go step by step, have patience. You need to take time to build an important squad to face a competition like the Champions League. It’s totally different to the (Europa) Conference League.

“If you’re thinking you want to make some rotations, it’s a bit difficult. The club knows very well that we need time and patience. I spoke about the transfer market… we need more transfer markets to reach a good level. We know this but at the same time we want to try and be competitive.

“Premier League and Champions League are two of the biggest competitions in the world. You need a really big, big squad.”

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