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Real Madrid identify Lautaro Martinez as back-up option for prime target Kylian Mbappe

Wantaway Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe is still a dream signing for Real Madrid, but his arrival depends on countless variables.

According to Spanish publication AS, Los Blancos have devised a back-up plan involving Inter Milan talisman Lautaro Martinez if their pursuit of the Frenchman fails to come to fruition.

Mbappe’s future at the Parc des Princes is in the balance, especially after PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi issued the 24-year-old an ultimatum amid his resistance to signing a new deal.

Carlo Ancelotti’s employers are keeping close tabs on the events in Paris but cannot afford to spend the whole summer chasing ghosts following Karim Benzema’s move to Al-Ittihad.

The veteran’s exit, combined with the departures of Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio, has crippled Madrid’s attacking options, forcing the club to consider taking drastic action in the market.

While they still hope and pray for Mbappe to tarnish his relationship with PSG, which would drastically facilitate his long-anticipated switch to the Santiago Bernabeu, Los Merengues are exploring other possibilities.

Martinez is among them, although it’s still uncertain whether Inter would entertain offers for their star striker now that they lost Edin Dzeko and are on the verge of cutting ties with Romelu Lukaku.

The 25-year-old contract at Giuseppe Meazza expires in 2026, while his market value stands at around €80 million, which isn’t a bargaining fee for a fallback option by any stretch of the imagination.

But since Madrid have already crossed off the names of Kai Havertz and Harry Kane, they’re running out of top-class alternatives to fill the gap, meaning Martinez could be their go-to choice.

The ex-Racing Club man has been one of the best-performing forwards in Serie A and only recently won the World Cup with Argentina, causing his stock to skyrocket.

On top of his excessive price tag, Inter may not be willing to negotiate his sale, especially if they offload goalkeeper Andre Onana to Manchester United.

The Italians must raise funds from player sales to balance their books, which would benefit Madrid in other circumstances.

However, with the Cameroonian closer to moving to Old Trafford than staying and Marcelo Brozovic lining up a lucrative Saudi Arabia switch, Martinez may not need to leave.

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