Transfer Talk: Manchester United see Lautaro Martinez as a striker option

The transfer window may be closed around Europe, but teams are looking ahead to the summer and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

Manchester United have identified Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez as a potential summer signing, with the Serie A side willing to let him leave, according to Football Insider.

Inter’s decision comes as they aim to raise funds to aid their crippling finances, with the 25-year-old available for approximately £70 million and keen to play in the Premier League.

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If United are unable to sign Tottenham Hotspur talisman Harry Kane, they could turn to the Argentina international as they look to strengthen up front.

While Kane remains the priority, Spurs’ demands of £100m to sign their all-time top goal scorer may put off any suitors.

Martinez has recorded 21 goals and eight assists in 47 matches across all competitions this season, with Real Madrid and Arsenal also reportedly interested in signing him. However, Erik ten Hag apparently sees him as the perfect forward for his high-intensity system at Old Trafford.

A World Cup winner, Martinez has played a key role in getting Inter to the Champions League semifinals, notably providing a goal and assist in the second leg of the quarterfinals victory over Benfica.

10.32 BST: Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil is confident Takefusa Kubo will continue at the club next season.

Kubo, 21, joined the Basque outfit from Real Madrid last summer and signed a five-year contract. The Japan forward has been a regular in Alguacil’s squad, scoring seven goals and setting up seven more in 38 appearances across all competitions.

On Tuesday, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praised his former player for solid performances this season and did not close the door to Kubo’s return.

Asked about Ancelotti’s comments, Alguacil said of Kubo: “I see him as a txuri-urdin [Real Sociedad]. He has shown more than enough his commitment to this jersey.”

09.44 BST: AC Milan have rekindled their interest in Italy international Nicolo Zaniolo, according to Calciomercato.

The Rossoneri failed to reach an agreement with Roma to sign Zaniolo in the January transfer window, with the midfielder joining Galatasaray in a permanent transfer for an initial €16.5m.

Milan are now considering exercising Zaniolo’s €35m release clause at the end of the season. However, it will all depend on whether or not the Rossoneri can qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Zaniolo, 23, is under contract with Galatasaray until June 2027 and has scored three goals in seven league appearances for the Turkish giants.

09.15 BST: Crystal Palace caretaker manager Roy Hodgson has warned the club that they should prepare for other clubs to make approaches for midfielder Michael Olise.

Olise, 21, registered his ninth Premier League assist of the season in Saturday’s 4-3 win over West Ham.

The France U21 international has been linked with Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain, and when asked if he is worried of bids coming in, Hodgson said: “If I was [club chairman] Steve Parish I would be.

“But I’m Roy Hodgson for the next few weeks and I wish them all well. I don’t have any conversations regarding contracts and what the club wants to do. If ever they need an opinion from me I know they’ll ask for it but I certainly won’t be proferring it.”

08.42 BST: Arsenal’s recent success in the Premier League could provide the blueprint for Chelsea’s bid to rebuild after a disappointing season, interim manager Frank Lampard said.

Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat by Brentford last week left them 12th in the standings, stumbling towards their worst campaign since the 1993-94 season — when they finished 14th under Glenn Hoddle — despite their huge outlay under Todd Boehly who took over the club last summer.

On Tuesday, Chelsea face an Arsenal side that finished outside the top four for six straight seasons between 2016-2022, but now find themselves locked in an intense title race after significant improvement under manager Mikel Arteta.

“There is a long process in terms of getting to where you want to get to. I remember going up against Mikel in that early stage,” Lampard told reporters ahead of the trip to the Emirates Stadium.

“Sometimes they played five at the back, sometimes four; now they have a clear identity. There has been a lot of work through the team, Mikel, alignment and good recruitment. Do we have the possibility to do that? Yes. Will it take time and good decisions? Absolutely, yes. But you can get there.

“The manager was being questioned, the players and owners were and that process can take two or three years. They are a great example of that done well.”

08.00 BST: Sevilla will exercise the €12m option to sign Rennes defender Loic Bade permanently, according to Estadio Deportivo.

Bade, 23, has made 19 appearances since joining Sevilla on loan in the January transfer window and has convinced the club executives.

The French centre-back spent the first half of the season on loan at Nottingham Forest. Bade is under contract with Stade Rennais until June 2026.

– Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants to hold talks with West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice as soon as the season ends, according to the Mirror. Arteta is increasingly confident that he can bring the 24-year-old to the Emirates as Rice’s contract runs until 2024, though includes the option for another year.

– Al Ahli will try to persuade Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric to join them in the summer by making the 37-year-old a colossal financial offer, according to Foot Mercato. The Saudi Arabian league is trying to bring more big names, having already seen Cristiano Ronaldo join Al Nassr.

– Talks between Bayern Munich and the representatives of Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani have started, according to Florian Plettenberg, who adds that €100m plus bonuses will be required to sign the French star. In another tweet, Plettenberg states that Manchester United are pushing harder to land the 24-year-old at this stage, although Kolo Muani still hasn’t made a decision on his future.

– Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are waiting to see how much Southampton will want for midfielder James Ward-Prowse if the Saints are relegated, according to the Daily Mail, which adds that both clubs are also interested in Leicester City attacking midfielder James Maddison. In addition, Spurs are monitoring Nottingham Forest’s Morgan Gibbs-White and loanee Dean Henderson, alongside Brentford’s David Raya, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Max Kilman and Lyon’s Castello Lukeba.

– Eintracht Frankfurt have made their first offer to permanently sign winger Ansgar Knauff from Borussia Dortmund, reports Florian Plettenberg. With the 21-year-old currently on loan at the club, BVB are demanding a fee of €7m while Frankfurt are looking to pay a lower figure, although talks are positive and Knauff wants the move to happen.

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