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Manchester United ‘identify Lautaro Martinez as Cristiano Ronaldo replacement’

Manchester United ‘identify Lautaro Martinez as Cristiano Ronaldo replacement’

Manchester United reportedly view Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez as a possible replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Portuguese leaving the club on a free transfer.

Ronaldo’s controversial interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV forced the Red Devils into action, with the 37-year-old having his contract at Old Trafford terminated.

Man United are now light at centre-forward, with Anthony Martial struggling to stay fit this term, and the club will be in the market for a new striker in 2023.

A recent report claimed that the club are open to bringing forward their plans from next summer to January, providing that the right player is available.

Man United head coach Erik ten Hag is said to be concerned about his attacking options heading into the second half of the campaign, with the team competing on four fronts.

Cristiano Ronaldo pictured during Portugal training on November 19, 2022© Reuters

According to Fichajes, Martinez is viewed as a possible replacement for Ronaldo, with the 20-time English champions keen to explore the possibility of bringing the forward to the club.

The 25-year-old is currently with the Argentina squad at the 2022 World Cup, playing the full 90 minutes of his side’s shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their tournament opener.

Martinez has been in strong form for Inter this term, meanwhile, scoring seven goals and registering four assists in 15 Serie A outings, in addition to scoring once and providing two assists in six Champions League outings.

In total, the striker has represented the Italian giants on 202 occasions since his arrival from Racing Club, scoring 82 goals and contributing 30 assists in the process.

Lautaro Martinez in action for Inter Milan on September 7, 2022© Reuters

Inter are in a strong position when it comes to the forward’s future, as he signed a new contract last October, with his current terms due to run until June 2026.

However, Ronaldo’s exit has saved Man United around £500,000 a week in wages, so the club would be able to offer Martinez a huge deal in a bid to lure him to the club.

Manchester City, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are also among the clubs believed to be interested in the South American, who has won Serie A and the Coppa Italia during his time at San Siro.

Napoli‘s Victor Osimhen is also believed to be on Man United’s striker shortlist, while there have been suggestions that Barcelona’s Memphis Depay is a January target for the club.

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