Lautaro Lukaku
I am disappointed with Lukaku

Lautaro Martinez has hit out at Romelu Lukaku amid a breakdown in the relationship between Inter and the Belgian.

WHAT HAPPENED? The Nerazzurri were pursuing a deal with Chelsea for the Belgian striker but it was revealed that the player was also negotiating to join Serie A rivals Juventus. The development prompted Inter to quickly withdraw from negotiations. It has been reported that Lukaku did attempt to rebuild burnt bridges with Inter and his former team-mates but the squad gave him the cold shoulder. His former strike partner, Martinez, slammed him for his “attitude” and revealed that the 30-year-old did not even pick up his calls amid the turmoil.

WHAT THEY SAID: “I was disappointed, it’s the truth. I also tried to call him in those days of chaos, he never answered me, the same he did with my other companions. After so many years together, after so many things lived together, I was disappointed. Thankfully, it’s his choice. I wish him the best. But I didn’t expect this attitude,” he stated to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: After a phenomenal last season where he scored 27 goals in 56 matches across all competitions, Martinez, has been handed the armband for the 2023-24 season. He is ecstatic after being bestowed with the honour of leading the Serie A side and feels “ready” for the job.

“Wearing it means taking on more responsibility within the team, inside the locker room. But I’ve always done it before. I have a goal: to lend a hand to comrades in need. Important players have left? True, but I’m ready. For me it is a source of pride, I want to live up to the many champions who have worn the armband in Inter’s history and make everyone proud of me.

“I’m in my sixth season here: I understand everything, I know everything, what I’ve learned I make available. I told the newcomers that if they’ve arrived at Inter it’s because they have something and they’ve been chosen, not by chance. When you play, give everything and then the love of the fans will take care of the rest,” he stated.

ROMELU LUKAKU LAUTARO MARTINEZ INTER MAILAND 2022 2023Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? Juventus are trying to persuade Chelsea to allow Lukaku to leave on another loan spell with an option to buy but the Blues remain adamant that they want a permanent sale. Meanwhile, Martinez will be in action against Al-Nassr in a pre-season friendly on Thursday at the Nagai Stadium in Japan.

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