Martinez wants legendary status at Inter as striker refutes Bayern, PSG links

By Sports Desk October 23, 2022

Lautaro Martinez dismissed speculation over a move to Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain, stating he hopes to "become a legend" at Inter.

Chelsea, Bayern and PSG are among a host of Europe's elite clubs that have repeatedly been linked to the forward, who will aim for World Cup glory with Argentina in November.

Julian Nagelsmann's side remain on the hunt for a like-for-like replacement for Robert Lewandowski, while Martinez's Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi could draw the Inter star to the French capital.

However, Martinez refuted reports of a move away from San Siro as he outlined his long-term ambitions with Inter.

"I'm fine, I'm happy here," Martinez told Rai Sport. "I hope I can become a legend, I have a contract here and I only think about Inter. 

"There are many goals from now on and we hope to continue like this."

Martinez scored 21 goals in 35 Serie A appearances as Inter finished second to rivals Milan last season, though he endured a lean spell in front of goal at the start of this campaign.

The 25-year-old failed to find the net in five straight league games but ended that poor form with a strike against Sassuolo on Wednesday, before a brace and an assist against Fiorentina on Saturday.

A dramatic 4-3 victory over Fiorentina – courtesy of Henrikh Mkhitaryan's fortuitous winner – lifted Inter to seventh in Serie A, but the Nerazzurri still sit five points behind leaders Napoli, who have a game in hand.

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    The Austrian opened the scoring after 10 minutes with a neat finish, but Inter were soon pegged back as Tijjani Noslin equalised six minutes later.

    The Dutchman then set up Tomas Suslov for their second to turn the game on its head, but another smart finish from Arnautovic on the stroke of half-time ensured they would salvage a point.

    Simone Perilli proved the hero for Verona in the end, pulling off a string of fine saves to keep his side level.

    Data Debrief: Landmark for Inzaghi

    Simone Inzaghi has now earned 250 points as a coach in Serie A with Inter, an achievement only Roberto Mancini has reached so far with the Nerazzurri in the three-points-per-win era (436). This draw takes him up to the landmark after 77 wins and 19 draws (18 losses).

    After winning the Scudetto with five games to go, Inzaghi has led Inter to 94 points in Serie A, with only three teams ever earning more points in a single campaign in the competition in the three-points-per-win era: Inter in 2006-07 (97) and Juventus in 2013-14 (102) and 2017-18 (95).

  • Martin 'overwhelmed' after guiding Saints back into Premier League Martin 'overwhelmed' after guiding Saints back into Premier League

    Russell Martin admitted he was "overwhelmed by the love and support" from Southampton, after guiding the Saints back into the Premier League.

    Martin's side sealed their return to the top flight at the first attempt, with Adam Armstrong's strike enough to seal a 1-0 victory over Leeds United in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

    The former Swansea City boss, who replaced Ruben Selles at St Mary's last June, secured his first promotion as a manager, having also done so five times as a player.

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    "I feel really emotional, I feel overwhelmed by the love and support I've had over the past nine or 10 months - especially in the tougher times," he told Sky Sports. "The team have been so brave, and I'm really proud of them.

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    Meanwhile, Southampton skipper Jack Stephens paid tribute to his team-mates, who gave him his "best feeling in football".

    "I'm so proud to be captain of this club. I'm so proud of the boys today, I think they've been unbelievable," the defender told Sky Sports. "I think we probably didn't play our best game today, but we showed a different side.

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    Daniel Farke's team settled the quicker of the two sides, who were separated by just three points during the regular season, but with little success in front of goal.

    Archie Gray – the youngest Leeds player to appear at Wembley – drilled just wide early on, while Wilfried Gnonto shot straight at Alex McCarthy.

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    Armstrong beat the offside trap after Ethan Ampadu's mindless charge out from the back, latching onto Will Smallbone’s throughball before neatly slotting past Illan Meslier.

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    Southampton were appearing in their first-ever play-off final, and they had lost on eight of their 10 previous visits to Wembley, including each of the last five.

    However, the Saints stopped the rot with a little help from a promotion expert – boss Martin achieved five of them as a player, and this was his third to the top flight overall.

    Armstrong's cool finish proved the difference; his 24 goals this term is the most by a Southampton player in a single season since Rickie Lambert struck 27 in 2011-12 – their last promotion-winning campaign.

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    It is just over 16 years since their third play-off final disappointment against Doncaster Rovers in League One (May 25, 2008), with Leeds now playing the most such matches without ever gaining promotion.

    Farke also missed the opportunity to become the third manager – after Steve Bruce (four) and Neil Warnock (three) – to win three Premier League promotions, following his Championship-winning campaigns of 2018-19 and 2020-21 with Norwich City.

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