The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) Public Investment Fund (PIF) have learned the asking price of Lautaro Martinez to sign him for Newcastle United.
The Lowdown: Willing to double wages
It was reported earlier this week that the St. James’ Park outfit were willing to double Martinez’s wages €7m (£6.1m) to sign him from Inter Milan.
However, they face competition from fellow Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea for his signature, and the striker could also still opt to stay at the San Siro.
The Latest: Huge asking price
As per Inter Live, the starting price for Martinez is a huge €90m (£77.2m), which would surpass the club-record £63m that the North East club paid to sign Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad just this summer.
The report adds that they, as well as Spurs and Chelsea, can still afford the transfer fee, in addition to Manchester United.
Atletico Madrid are also mentioned as having interest in Martinez, but do not seem to be able to afford the asking price compared to the Premier League clubs.
The Verdict: Focus on other positions first
Even though Martinez would no doubt be a top signing for the Tynesiders, having already signed Isak in a club-record move, they should focus on strengthening in other areas of the pitch first.
The Argentina international would still be a statement signing, having scored a total of 129 goals at club and international level by the age of 25.
Lauded as a ‘beast‘ by Inter team-mate Romelu Lukaku, Martinez ranks in the 98th percentile for shots taken of all strikers in Europe’s top five leagues over the past year, and in the 88th for non-penalty goals, sharing a similar playing style to other high-volume forwards like Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mane and Gabriel Jesus (FBRef).
He does not bring just goals though, but an incredible work-rate too, as he ranks in the 97th percentile for interceptions and 92rd for touches for strikers (FBRef).
However, with so much money spent on Isak, perhaps the Magpies should think twice about splashing the cash again on another striker, instead strengthening the depth on the wings or in midfield.
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