Manchester United set to lose to Barcelona in pursuit of Argentinian striker Lautaro Martinez

Manchester United are set to miss out on Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez who reportedly prefers a move to Barcelona.

The Red Devils have long been linked with the Argentine as they looked to strengthen in the attacking department especially with the sales of Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku to Milan and the injury of Marcus Rashford.

Skopje, FYROM – August 8,2017: Manchester United Marcus Rashford during the UEFA Super Cup Final match between Real Madrid and Manchester United at Philip II Arena in Skopje

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unable to bring the 22-year-old in January with the Norwegian having to settle with former Watford striker Odion Ighalo as a loan signing in the final hours of the transfer window.

United were heavily interested in bringing another young striker to the club in Erling Braut Haaland but they were unwilling to pay extortionate agent fees for the teenage sensation who then joined Borussia Dortmund for an extremely cheap £18m.

Therefore, the only option for United to bring in reinforcements upfront will have to be to wait for the summer transfer window.

A move for Martinez will not be cheap for the Solskjaer with the Argentine international has a contract that runs out in 2023 and contains a £94m buyout clause.

If the Red Devils were to trigger the clause, he would become United’s most expensive signing surpassing Paul Pogba’s sensational move.

However, Martinez has reportedly made it clear that he prefers a move to Catalonia who themselves are looking for a striker.

The Spanish giants are looking to spend big in the summer and might look to replace an ageing Luis Suarez and help Lionel Messi link-up with a fellow countryman, even if Messi’s relationship with the club is currently strained after recent events.

The interest in Martinez comes after heavily impressing this season alongside Lukaku in a two-man partnership.

The 22-year-old has scored 16 goals in all competitions whilst assisting four times in just 27 appearances. His tally in Serie A, 11 goals in 20 games, is great but his Champions League performances have caught the eye.

In a group containing Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund, Inter failed to advance to the knock-out stages even with Martinez’s superb performances.

The striker had 5 goals in the 6 group games scoring in four games straight. He scored a goal in Inter’s 2-1 loss to the Blaugrana but scored in both fixtures against Die Schwarzgelbe.

If Inter do sell their young star, they will have made a tremendous profit in just a couple of years since signing him from Racing Point for just £22m in 2018.

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