Manchester City are keeping a close eye on developments in Milan, where Lautaro Martinez is holding out for an extra £100,000 a week before going anywhere near a new contract at Inter.
It’s hardly news that City are in the market for a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero – and after his latest setback a short-term replacement might be in order as well. Not everyone is as generous as Burnley.
It’s probably not obligatory for The New Aguero to be Argentinian, but no reason why he can’t be, is there? Martinez has 11 goals in 21 games for Argentina and has a £98m release clause in his Inter contract.
The Italians are keen to nudge that significantly higher, but they will have to significantly increase Martinez’s current £38,000 weekly wage to get him to sign anything. According to the Mirror, he is apparently dischuffed that a dozen players at the club currently earn more than him, and he’s probably got a point.
Especially as one of those dozen is Christian Eriksen, who has been frankly bobbins since making his big move from Spurs at the start of the year. Just didn’t quite happen for Eriksen, did it? Having clearly planned on stepping up from Spurs to one of the true giants, it ended up being Inter or nothing.
Nothing would probably have been better, and now Inter chief Giuseppe Marotta has told Sky Italy that Eriksen is almost certainly off in January in what he calls a “functional” transfer for the club. Eriksen could yet end up back at his title-chasing former club, but his fall from grace could yet continue with drab mid-table fodder like Manchester United and Arsenal considered likelier destinations for a player who is still only 28 despite surely now having been a professional footballer for at least 15 years.
Leeds aren’t mucking about. Currently having a rare old time in the Premier League under FIFA Coach of the Year contender Marcelo Bielsa, the Whites have identified another member of that quintet as their top target to replace Bielsa should he decide he’s had enough of Yorkshire, as if such a thing were possible.
Jolen Lopetegui has restored his reputation since a dreadful spell at Real Madrid, leading Sevilla to more Europa League glory last season and a Champions League last-16 spot this time around, and The Sun reckon he’s Leeds’ top target as and when such a thing becomes necessary.
The Spaniard has expressed interest in managing in the Premier League one day, The Sun declare as if that means something. Be weird – and more newsworthy – if he’d said the opposite. But still.