Argentina’s new ‘jewel’ Lautaro Martinez is reportedly on the brink of joining Inter Milan ahead of Real and Atletico Madrid.
The Italian giants could land the Racing Club striker for around £10.5million plus performance-related bonues, even though the two Spanish clubs were thought to be willing to pay the release clause of more than £15m – 18 million Euros.
But Sky Sport Italia suggest Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti made a crucial intervention in negotiations.
And Martinez is now tipped to move to Serie A in June.
He has seven goals in just 11 caps for Argentina at Under-20 level and last term netted nine times in 23 league games for Racing.
And he might be remembered by some fans in England for being sent off against the Lion Cubs in the U-20 World Cup aftr a video referral – for a foul on Fikayo Tomori.
His game time in the Argentine top-flight has been even more effective this season.
From just seven Primera Division matches, Martinez has bagged four goals and two assists.
This form has given him hope of joining Lionel Messi and Co in the World Cup this summer.
Argentina have some of the most established frontmen in the world, notably Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Juventus duo Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.
But Jorge Sampaoli’s men mainly misfired as they left it late to qualify for the finals in Russia.
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Martinez told goal.com earlier this week that his future was entirely in his own hands.
He said: “It is 100 per cent. I am the one who will decide where I play, where I want to be, what I want.
“My representatives know that, I have made that clear ever since they started working for me.
“My family is always with me and they support me in my decisions.”