Premier League • England

Next Chelsea striker: Approach for long-term target imminent after 28-goal ace says yes to Stamford Bridge move

Argentina players Lautaro Martinez, Lionel Messi, Enzo Fernandez and Julian Alvarez

Chelsea will soon make contact over the signing of a top Argentine forward they have admired for a long time, according to one journalist.

Chelsea are in real need of a new centre-forward this summer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is hoping to go back to Barcelona after a poor spell in West London, while the Blues will hold talks with Inter over extending Romelu Lukaku’s loan.

Chelsea also look set to lose German forward Kai Havertz in the coming weeks. Havertz has given Arsenal the green light to sign him, with the Gunners attempting to reach an agreement over a fee with Chelsea.

Chelsea have initially put his price tag at £75million, though Arsenal are refusing to pay this. Transfer reporter Fabrizio Romano has revealed Chelsea will be ‘flexible’ over the fee, suggesting they could accept a lower bid from the Gunners.

If Mauricio Pochettino is to get Chelsea anywhere near the top four next season, then he will need a high-quality goalscorer to join and lead the forward line. And Lautaro Martinez is one player who might arrive at Stamford Bridge to do that exact job.

The 25-year-old has long been linked with a Premier League move, with Manchester United named as one potential destination in the past. But the rumours have reached another level following Martinez’s great campaign with Inter.

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He registered 28 goals and 11 assists in 57 games as Inter finished third in Serie A, won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, as well as reaching the Champions League final. But Inter’s dreams of European glory were ruined by Manchester City, who triumphed in the competition for the first time.

While Martinez did not excel for Argentina at the Qatar World Cup, losing his starting spot to Julian Alvarez, he was still part of the winning squad and therefore wrote his name in the history books.

Chelsea have liked star ‘for quite some time’

Last week, The Times revealed Chelsea are preparing to rival Real Madrid for Martinez’s signature. Then, on Friday, Football Insider claimed he is excited about the prospect of signing for Chelsea, should they strike a deal with Inter.

During an interview with GiveMeSport, journalist Dean Jones has provided an update on the situation. He states that Chelsea have long been fans of the attacker and could make contact over the move, with the season now completed.

“So with Lautaro, there are people within the club that really like him and have done for quite some time,” Jones said. “As of last week, there hadn’t been any actual contact for Lautaro, but obviously that can now change now that the season’s done for him.”

Football Insider claim Inter will accept offers worth £60m for the 48-cap international. This represents a good price considering Martinez has just enjoyed a great campaign and the fact his contract with Inter runs for another three years.

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has shown in the past two transfer windows he is willing to spend huge sums of money to try and improve the squad. This has resulted in mega-money deals for Enzo Fernandez and Mykhaylo Mudryk, and Moises Caicedo could soon follow in a £100m move.

Therefore, spending £60m on Martinez will certainly not put the Chelsea hierarchy off.

Meanwhile, a report has explained how Declan Rice’s potential move to Arsenal will affect one of Chelsea’s own pursuits.