Chelsea and Manchester City set to rival Barcelona for Lautaro Martinez

    Chelsea and Manchester City are reportedly ready to challenge Barcelona for Inter Milan star forward Lautaro Martinez, as per reports in England

    Lautaro Martinez is the next big thing in world football, and many European powerhouses are desperate to wrap up a deal with Inter for his services, with Barcelona named frontrunners in the race.

    But, the Catalans, who long seemed to be leading the chase, now face stiff competition from the Premier League, as Chelsea and Manchester United set their sights on the Argentinean, according to the Express Sport.

    Franck Lampard is determined to bolster his attacking options ahead of next season after relying solely upon the 22-year-old Tammy Abraham to deliver goals in 2019/20.

    Olivier Giroud, who deputized well in Abraham’s absence, could still leave Stamford Bridge in the summer, while Michy Batshuayi never managed to convince the English manager of his capabilities and is likely to be traded away when the transfer window reopens.

    Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has to find a suitable replacement for Sergio Aguero, 31, after Gabriel Jesus failed to produce the expected goalscoring output.

    Both sides have an economic platform that enables them to target Europe’s most prized assets, which could make Barcelona’s pursuit of Martinez quite complicated.

    While the La Liga giants still base their hope on concluding the deal on the forward’s desire to link up with his fellow international colleague Lionel Messi, they may find it hard to negotiate terms with the Nerazzurri.

    The 22-year-old has already asked the Catalan outfit to find an agreement with Inter before opening contract talks, which at this point remains the main stumbling block.

    The coronavirus outbreak has already put Spain under lockdown, causing substantial economic damage, and the proportion can only be fully grasped once the crisis is overcome.

    Unfortunately, Spain yields the highest number of fatalities in the world, and the economy of football clubs in the country deals with a huge financial blow like the country itself.

    In order to mitigate the damage caused by the coronavirus crisis, Barcelona are likely to cut down player wages up to 70%, and the club’s budget for the summer is still questionable.

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