Chelsea could lose out in the race for Lautaro Martinez if Barcelona target the Inter Milan striker, according to ESPN pundit Steve Nicol.
Martinez, 22, has bagged 16 goals in 27 appearances for Inter this season and is therefore attracting plenty of attention across the continent.
Reports suggest the Blues, who are on the hunt for another centre-forward, have identified him as a potential summer transfer target.
Manchester United are also said to be interested in the Argentinian, who has a £94m release clause in his current Inter contract.
But according to Nicol, both Premier League sides will be left disappointed if Barca make a beeline for Martinez in the summer window.
“[He] would be a great signing for Chelsea,” Nicol told ESPN FC .
“I think the problem for Chelsea is there may be if this guy becomes available, because I’m not quite sure if he’s available.
Martinez has bagged 16 goals in 27 games for Inter this season, a return which has reportedly caught Chelsea’s eye
(Image: SIPA USA/PA Images)
“Obviously money talks but if this guy is available and this guy keeps producing what he’s been producing, then Chelsea might be at the back of the queue.
“[Barcelona have] lost Suarez through injury, they’ll probably be losing Suarez over the next 12 months, 18 months to two years.
“They’re looking for somebody, he fits the bill big time.
But Nicol believes the Argentinian fits the bill for Barca amid Luis Suarez’s injury
“If it’s a choice for him of Chelsea or Barca… right [Barcelona].”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was desperate to bring in another striker last month, reportedly setting his sights on a move for Lyon frontman Moussa Dembele.
In the end, though, Lampard was left frustrated when the Blues failed to bolster their frontline.
Frank Lampard was left disappointed when the Blues failed…