Great Britain

Inter Milan plot transfer for Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette if they lose Lautaro Martinez to Barcelona

INTER MILAN have reportedly identified Alexandre Lacazette as their No1 target should Lautaro Martinez leave for Barcelona.

The Arsenal forward fell out of favour under Mikel Arteta before football's shutdown, as the coach surveyed his more youthful options.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Inter moved onto Lacazette as their back-up plan after deciding that Timo Werner of RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani, whose contract expires soon, were too expensive.

The Serie A side recently sent a staunch message to Barcelona in their pursuit of Martinez, stating only his £100million release clause will be enough to force through a deal.

As the main target of a potentially very busy summer for the Catalans, they are expected to try and tempt a sale by offering a variety of player exchange deals.

Arturo Vidal is one name already of interest to Inter with Ivan Rakitic, Rafinha and Samuel Umtiti also thought to be up for grabs.

As for Lacazette, the French forward has nine goals to his name from 26 appearances this season.

An eight-game goalless spell across the Christmas period saw the 29-year-old dropped for Eddie Nketiah.

But he did notch in the Europa League and twice off the bench in the Premier League to nudge back up the pecking order - with Gabriel Martinelli another young star vying for places.

Whether Arsenal are ready to sell or not may depend on their financial circumstances with Lacazette among the squad's highest-earners - and reportedly not keen on leaving.

After the 12.5 per cent pay cut agreed by the Gunners amid the coronavirus crisis, he is thought to earn around £160,000-a-week.

But Inter are said to only desire the player should Martinez make the much-anticipated switch to Barcelona.

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio pointed out last week that the clock is ticking on the LaLiga side making that deal happen.

He told Sky Sports Italia: "The reality of the situation with Martinez is that there's only one path to take him away from Inter and that is to pay the release clause.

"It's a clause everyone knows about, there's no point hiding. It is a difficult clause because it has certain deadlines and some very precise demands.

"First and foremost, the clause expires in early July, so does not last very long. It's the only possible way right now that we won't see Lautaro Martinez at Inter next season."

Mikel Arteta could axe Lacazette and Aubameyang as unimpressed boss plans major Arsenal shake-up

Football news:

Gary Lineker: I'm Starting to think that Liverpool was a soap bubble
Mourinho about VAR: The assistant referee is now on the field, the linesmen are assistant referees
Foden scores points in every match after the season restart. He has 4 goals and 2 assists
Manchester City players have congratulated Liverpool on the championship corridor. The empty stadium looked sluggish
De Bruyne broke the personal record for goals in a season in the championship – 11 goals
Atalanta captain Gomez is the first Serie A player in the twenty-first century to give 15 assists in a season
Manchester City arranged a championship corridor for Liverpool