The links from Lautaro Martínez to Liverpool just won’t go away. The Inter star has been linked with a move to Anfield for nearly two years now, with rumors emerging and then fading into the background, only to resurface at a later date.
The latest rumor has it that the Argentine striker wants a transfer to Liverpool if he leaves Inter in the summer after four years at the club.
Martínez has endured a season of ups and downs with the reigning Italian champion. At times he seemed out of sync with Edin Džeko, who was brought in to replace Romelu Lukaku, who had built a great rapport with Martínez in Milan over two years.
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In addition, Martínez went through a dry spell at the start of 2022, not scoring a single goal in Serie A for about 10 weeks. Martínez has always looked like he was about to explode as a talent, only to bare spot to walk on. Two steps forward, one step back.
And while Inter were on the cusp of selling him last summer and didn’t after Lukaku left Milan for London, Martínez could bid farewell to Inter this summer.
Italian outlet Calciomercato says Liverpool wanted Martínez in the summer of 2020 before finally settling on Diogo Jota, but believes Liverpool can now return for the 24-year-old.
Last week it was also reported that Arsenal are very interested in bringing Martinez to the Premier League, but that the player is waiting for an offer from a bigger side.
Like last summer, Inter are reportedly having to cut some deadwood from their roster, either that or sell a high-profile player. Club president Steven Zhang is said to have told sporting director Beppe Marotta that the wage bill should be reduced by about 10 to 15 percent before the start of next season.
The club will of course try to sack Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, but they have high pay and it may not be feasible. That’s why leaving a player like Martínez might be the easiest, if not the most painful, solution.
In addition, Inter will likely be in the red for another year. Last year they posted colossal losses of over £200m, and while it’s unlikely it won’t be quite as drastic, the lack of Chinese intervention means the club will have to sell.
But does this mean we will soon see Martínez don the Liverpool red?
It’s a tricky one to rate. Martínez is more than good enough to play for Liverpool, having seen Jurgen Klopp first hand in the Champions League round of 16 second leg, when he scored a rocket of a goal from 25 yards at Anfield.
But Martínez’s best work comes in a two-man partnership, and this is just a system Klopp doesn’t use. Klopp has been using a 4-3-3 system for years now and is not just going to change this for Martínez. A solution can be found if he is used through the middle, but that would leave questions about the future of Jota and also Sadio Mane, who has been repurposed since the arrival of Luis Díaz in the middle.
Klopp has an abundance of attacking talent at his disposal, and it makes sense to sell before buying. Of course, if a few attackers leave in the summer, Martínez could become a legitimate option, but Klopp and Liverpool probably have other priorities that need to be addressed in the squad.