Inter Milan target Lautaro Martinez set for summer move
Lautaro Martinez's move from Racing di Avellaneda to Inter Milan is "99 percent done," according to the Argentine forward's agent Rolando Zarate.
Martinez has scored eight goals in 12 Superliga Argentina matches this season, while his hattrick helped Racing defeat Cruzeiro 4-2 in their opening Coppa Libertadores group game last month.
Inter want him to join Mauro Icardi in their attack next season and Zarate said the deal is as good as signed and sealed.
"The departure of Lautaro to Inter is 99 percent done," he told TyC Sports. "Just the medical and some paperwork needs to be done."
Racing are understood to be keen on delaying the move until December so they can keep the forward for the rest of the Copa Libertadores, but Zarate said that is not an option, with Inter keen on signing him this summer.
"It's impossible that he will stay for the second half of the season," he said. "That has never been up for discussion. All that has been agreed is that he would play in the first half of the Copa Libertadores since he will be moving in June, when Inter want him.
"Inter want to form an attack with Mauro Icardi and Martinez. They are not going to accept leaving him in Argentina for six more months when they've paid $30 million for him."
Martinez could join a club playing in the Champions League next season, according to compatriot Diego Milito, who won a Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble with the Nerazzurri in 2010.
"Mauro [Icardi]'s done a great deal for the team and I'm convinced his goals will get them back into the Champions League -- I truly hope so," Milito told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I don't even want to consider [another year without Champions League football]. Getting back into Europe's biggest club competition is too important.
"I have enough faith in the team, [coach Luciano] Spalletti and the club. I'm sure these lads know what to do, and they will do it. They're still up there after a great first half of the season -- maybe too good a first half of the season."
Inter are currently just outside the Champions League qualifying berths, a point behind Lazio and two adrift of Roma, albeit with a game in hand over both clubs.
Behind them, Sampdoria and AC Milan are seven points adrift, but Milito believes it will be a three-horse race for two berths behind Napoli and Juventus in next season's Champions League.
"Despite Milan and Samp's good form, it's only a battle with the two Rome clubs," he said. "We have the advantage of not being involved in Europe. It's true that they can give you a lot of enthusiasm, but they take away a lot of energy."
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.