Sources: Martinez tells friends he has ‘heart set’ on joining Tottenham after Paratici talks
Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez has told friends he has his “heart set” on joining Tottenham, Football Insider can reveal.
Spurs have opened talks with the Serie A champions over signing the Argentina striker, 23, before this month’s transfer cut-off.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Martinez has told his inner circle he wants to join the Premier League outfit and has made that clear in discussions with Inter.
That is a huge boost to Tottenham managing director Fabio Paratici as he works on what could be a club-record deal.
Spurs have made a concerted move for £75million-valued Martinez as they face a major battle to keep hold of Harry Kane.
The club talisman returned for pre-season training over the weekend after his no-show earlier in the week but has made no secret of his desire to join Man City before the 31 August cut-off.
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Tottenham plan for Martinez to play alongside Kane rather than replace him, but it would go some way to appeasing fans about their ambition if a deal could be done with Inter.
New Spurs recruitment chief Paratici is well aware that Inter are strapped for cash and could have to offload another of their leading stars.
The recently-crowned champions have already sold right-back Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain this summer in a deal worth over £60m and are on the verge of selling Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea for £97.5m.
Martinez has been targeted on the back of three outstanding seasons at Inter, where he has developed into one of the Italian league’s top attackers.
He scored 19 goals and supplied 11 assists from 48 matches in all competitions last season.
The Argentina striker helped Inter to win their first league title in 11 years last season and has drawn praise from Lionel Messi, his international team-mate, who has described him as “spectacular”.