Arsenal have been tipped to axe Eddie Nketiah if they are able to sign Lautaro Martinez from Serie A giants Inter Milan later this year.
Nketiah was due to be out of contract last summer but he ended up penning a new deal. He was down the pecking order in the first few months of this season as Gabriel Jesus often started.
Jesus shone at the beginning of this season. He did not score as many goals as he would have liked but his role in Arsenal’s build-up play was vital.
The Brazil international has been out of action since the World Cup as he suffered a knee injury during the tournament.
Nketiah has surpassed expectations in recent months, but Arsenal are being linked with Martinez ahead of the summer transfer window.
Football Insider’s Pete O’Rourke reported last week that Martinez is ‘interested’ in a move to the Premier League. He has also predicted that it would take a £70-80m bid to sign him.
‘The Premier League leaders have been hurt by the injury to Gabriel Jesus despite Eddie Nketiah’s fine form in his absence, and are targeting another forward option as they look to become a force in Europe in the years to come.
‘It is my understanding that they are monitoring the situation of Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez ahead of the summer window after showing initial interest in the Argentina international back in 2021.
‘Inter are struggling with financial issues at present and could be forced to part with the 25-year-old – who they view as the most saleable asset at the club.
‘A fee of between £70-80million should be enough to secure his services and wouldn’t be a problem for Arsenal.
‘The World Cup winner is interested in exploring a move to England despite having more than three years on his contract at San Siro.’
Ex-Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has offered his thoughts on this potential signing. He feels that it would be “too much” if Arsenal are made to pay “anything more than £60m for the Argentina international.
But the pundit feels that Nketiah “could be allowed to go on loan” if Martinez joins the Gunners.
“I think it depends on the fee itself. If Arsenal can get the cost down to £60m then I think it’d be good business,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“Nketiah could be allowed to go on loan and Martinez would join Gabriel Jesus as Arsenal’s two main strikers.
“But anything more than £60m I think is too much. He’s not quick at all – he’s a good finisher but there is a major lack of pace to demand a transfer fee that large.”