Arsenal and Tottenham set for summer transfer battle over next Lautaro Martinez

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Arsenal and Tottenham have been battling for fourth spot all season – and they look set to lock horns again over the summer. The pairing are both interested in signing the ‘next Lautaro Martinez’, with Carlos Alcaraz starting to attract interest at Racing Club.

It is understood the North London rivals are both keeping tabs on Alcaraz from Racing, the same club that brought Martinez through the ranks as a youngster.

Both sides are thought to be looking at new striking options, and both have been linked with Martinez in the past, but Carlos Alcaraz has burst onto the scene at Racing Club, and they could sign the star in the hope that he becomes the finished article. Alcaraz has started to attract interest from some of Europe’s top sides, meaning that Champions League qualification could also play a huge part in any potential deal.

Racing are bracing themselves for a raid, and it was from the Argentinian side that Martinez was bought by Inter back in 2018. He’s been a raging success ever since, and Arsenal and Tottenham are both keen on a summer transfer, with scouts keeping a close eye on the striker.

Martinez cost Inter £20million, and they could easily triple that figure if they were to sell the star four years later. But perhaps Arsenal and Tottenham may feel as though Alcaraz could be worth the gamble.

That’s according to Marca, who claim that the two London sides are watching the youngster closely, alongside the likes of Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Juventus, Inter and AC Milan. But any side will have to pay an almost identical fee to the Martinez transfer, as Alcaraz has a release clause of £22m in his contract.

His current deal expires in 2026, and the report states that Racing may settle for a bid of £17.5m. But similar to the transfer of Martinez to Inter, a sell-on clause would be inserted.

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Arsenal’s need for a striker far outweighs Tottenham’s demand, with Manchester City’s pursuit of Harry Kane almost certainly over after they announced the signing of Erling Haaland. Tottenham are looking to break Arsenal hearts and climb into the top four, and Champions League football may confirm Kane’s stay.

Tottenham are also reportedly tabling a new deal for Kane, offering him more money to fit with the Premier League average for a player of his quality. And after Kane produced a sensational double against Arsenal on Thursday, his value was demonstrated perfectly.

Arsenal on the other hand are amidst a crisis, as both Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette look set to leave the club at the end of the season. Both players see their contracts expire this summer, and could both walk away for nothing.

And after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang forced his way out in January, Mikel Arteta would be left with no natural striker. Arsenal failed in their pursuit of Dusan Vlahovic in January, and now the club are targeting two new strikers in the summer.

One of those prioritised is Gabriel Jesus, who’s position in the team is under further threat due to Haaland’s arrival. But Arsenal could add Alcaraz to their ranks in the hope that he will follow the path of Martinez and become a European star.

Whether it is Alcaraz or not, Arsenal have to sign a striker, especially with European football confirmed for next season. They haven’t guaranteed Champions League football just yet, but even with a Europa League place they’ll need a bigger squad.

Arsenal may have spent big since Edu became the clubs first technical director in 2019, but since Arteta was appointed in December 2019, he has never been given a new striker. It remains the only position yet to be strengthened since the Spaniard took charge.

Arteta has now been given a new contract, and surely he has been guaranteed a new centre-forward as part of the deal. But the calibre of forward they can sign will depend on their Premier League finish this season.

They will stand the best chance in the summer if they finish in the top four, and they must at least match Tottenham’s results to do so. There are only two games left, but still everything to play for for both London rivals.

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