• Inter reportedly identified Martial as Martinez's replacement
  • Martinez has been one of Barca's top target this summer
  • The forward has scored 17 goals so far this season

Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has been reportedly identified as an ideal replacement for Lautaro Martinez by Inter Milan.

Inter Milan, who have not won the Serie A title since 2009-10, are currently placed third in the table, behind leaders Juventus and second-placed Lazio. Antonio Conte’s side was on par with Juventus for much of the season but successive losses to the defending champions and an away defeat to Lazio have seen them drop points massively.

The partnership of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, who have combined to score 31 of their 56 league goals, has been the primary reason for whatever success Inter have tasted in the 2019-20 season.

Martinez, who is Lionel Messi’s Argentina teammate, has scored 17 times overall for Inter in the ongoing campaign. His impressive show this season for Inter has attracted attention from several big European sides, including Barcelona. Messi reportedly believes his compatriot will be a great fit in the club and his addition will only further strengthen their chances of triumphing in the Champions League, a trophy they have not won since 2015.

Lionel Messi's 700th career goal was not enough for Barca as they drew with Atletico
Lionel Messi's 700th career goal was not enough for Barca as they drew with Atletico AFP / LLUIS GENE

Barcelona have been in talks with Inter Milan regarding Martinez’s transfer for several months now and are expected to continue doing so at the summer transfer market. It is also believed that Martinez has made up his mind to leave Italy but both the clubs are unable to reach a mutual agreement.

According to Corriere Dello Sport, the San Siro side is assessing replacement options for Martinez and they have four names in mind including Man Utd star Martial. The other options are Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus and Italian club Torino FC’s Andrea Belotti.

It was reported earlier this year that Inter had made a $73 million bid for Martial but the deal did not go through. With the Frenchman in a great form at present, including his hat-trick against Sheffield United, Man Utd will not let go of the striker so easily.

However, Inter have a great transfer relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side after they signed Lukaku from Man Utd last summer and Red Devils’ Alexis Sanchez is currently on loan at Inter. While it looks difficult, Man Utd could play a surprising card by selling Martial to clear funds for their summer's top target Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, whose asking price is expected to be around $146 million.

Once Inter sign a replacement for Martinez, Barcelona would get a clearance in their transfer, which could be their second new arrival with a swap deal involving Arthur and Miralem Pjanic expected to be announced Monday.