Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has exerted his influence within the club to block the attempts to sign Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez, claim El Desmarque.
This has placed Manchester City in pole position to sign the Argentinean striker, who has established himself as one of the world’s hottest prospects this season with thirteen goals in twenty-one appearances for Inter Milan.
Messi’s motive is not said to be due to any animosity towards his compatriot Martinez, but rather his reluctance to see his teammate and friend Luis Suarez be marginalised by Martinez’s potential arrival.
This will be welcome news to Pep Guardiola, as Martinez is a leading candidate to provide competition for Gabriel Jesus as City eye the heir to Sergio Aguero’s throne as the club’s greatest ever frontman. The Inter Milan player’s representatives are said to have already ‘offered his services‘ to the Premier League side.
However, one Spanish giant does remain interested – Manchester City’s upcoming Champions League opponents, Real Madrid. It would be safe to anticipate a battle for Martinez’s signature in the summer.
There is no reason to disbelieve the reports about Manchester City’s interest, given that Sergio Aguero’s contract expires in 2021 and it does not appear that an extension is in the offing at present.
You can follow us for live updates here: @City_Xtra