The Inter Milan forward, who has been associated with a big-money move to Barcelona, is now on Manchester City's radar as the EPL giants prepare to sign a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero.
Martinez has been linked with a move away from the San Siro for a staggering £99.7 million, with Barcelona emerging as realistic suitors. However, the La Liga giants have not accelerated their pursuit of the striker due to various reasons.
One of those reasons is the financial losses the club suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the hefty wages of a few flop signings such as Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho.
EPL's Manchester City well-equipped to sign Martinez
Barcelona are trying to offload former EPL star, Coutinho, on loan in order to free up their wage list while a cash-plus-player deal involving the likes of Junior Firpo is also understood to be a possibility.
In contrast to their situation, Manchester City's uplifted ban from the Champions League has bolstered their chances of luring world-class players to the Etihad come summer.
The outgoing EPL champions are also said to have a circa £140 million transfer budget to sign the players they require.
Pep Guardiola is set to flex his financial muscle by racing ahead of Barcelona as Manchester City are far more equipped and better-placed than the La Liga holders to trigger the striker's buy-out clause.
Aguero, who has scored an incredible 254 goals from 370 matches for EPL giants Manchester City, is likely to leave next season when his contract expires. The striker, despite having netted 20+ goals in all but one of his terms in the EPL, has seen his career rocked by injuries.
The Manchester City talisman, who is currently on the sidelines owing to a knee setback, is likely to be replaced by his 22-year-old compatriot.
It will, however, prove to be difficult for the EPL side due to Inter's reluctance. Earlier, their sporting director Piero Ausilio had admitted that Barcelona have been interested in the Manchester City target:
"As far as Martinez is concerned, there is only one way that can take him away from Inter and that is by paying a clause. Many clubs have contacted us about Lautaro. Among these, the most determined one, with which we have a friendly and cordial relationship, is Barcelona. I don't hide this."
Besides, Manchester City are also linked with Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Valencia starlet Ferran Torres. They are expected to revamp their squad, especially the defensive unit, as they aim to dethrone Liverpool next season for the EPL trophy.
Manchester City's next assignment is the FA Cup semi-final against fellow EPL side Arsenal, scheduled to commence on July 18.
Published 16 Jul 2020, 14:56 IST