Fabrizio Romano reveals Tottenham willing to pay minimum £56m for deadly striker viewed as Harry Kane contingency

Lautaro Martinez Inter Milan

Tottenham were reportedly willing to pay at least £56million to sign Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez and could renew their interest as fears over Harry Kane’s exit next year continue to grow.

Martinez has been heavily linked with a move away from Inter Milan in recent years and the return of Romelu Lukaku this summer only heightened those rumours, only for the Argentine to maintain his place in the side.

Spurs were one club tipped to snap up the 25-year-old in 2021, when they feared Kane’s proposed move to Manchester City.

That transfer failed to materialise, however, and City have since splashed out for Erling Haaland. Kane, meanwhile, appears settled again at his boyhood club and has a strong relationship with Antonio Conte.

But Fabrizio Romano has shed some light on those Martinez rumours and what could happen in the future.

The transfer insider confirmed to CaughtOffside via his Substack column that Tottenham and Atletico Madrid were interested in the striker, with the former willing to pay €65m (£56m) to bring him to England.

“I’m told that the biggest proposals for Lautaro Martinez arrived in the summer of 2021. Tottenham and Atletico Madrid were interested, with Spurs prepared to offer more than €65m,” said Romano.

Tottenham still hold Martinez interest

While the move failed to materialise, Romano rated the chances of more offers coming in for the forward.

He added: “Martinez wanted to stay at Inter Milan and recently extended his contract with the club. For 2023, we will see. He’s still very happy at Inter Milan and the project at the club.

Spurs are expected to keep tabs on Martinez’s situation at Inter just in case the worst happens with Kane.

Bayern Munich are expected to make a play for the England skipper next summer. The German giants are keen to get Kane on board as they have still to replace Robert Lewandowski.

For Tottenham, much will depend on whether they can add to their trophy cabinet come the end of the season.

However, there is an argument for Kane leaving on both fronts. If they fail to lift any silverware then he may decide the summer of 2023 is his last chance to earn a lucrative contract elsewhere.

But if the 29-year-old does end that elusive trophy hunt, he could also decide to move – having then achieved everything he wanted to in north London.

Either way, if Kane leaves then Conte will need another quality frontman on board for Tottenham.

Summer signing Richarlison has shown glimpses of what he can do. However, he’s not scored the goals that his decent play has merited -despite being handed a number of starts already this season.

As for Martinez, the Inter star has notched three times and added an assist in Serie A this term.

Martinez for Kane not a straight swap

While Lautaro Martinez is a quality performer in Italy and for Argentina, he would not exactly be a like-for-like Kane replacement.

The diminutive frontman appears to work better as a second striker and not a No.9. Therein lies the problem, as Antonio Conte does not have a place in his team for a No.10.

Martinez could still work in Spurs’ front three though, but only if Richarlison was pushed through the middle.

The former Everton forward has not really had any chances to play in his favoured position in north London.

Indeed, that may have been the plan all along, with Daniel Levy aware of Kane’s potential exit in 2023.

Spurs are back in Premier League action on Saturday evening when they face a tough trip to Brighton.

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