Lautaro Martinez is the statement signing Arsenal need

Martinez is on Arsenal's radar
Martinez is on Arsenal's radar / Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

Occasionally, a rumour so bizarre and outrageous flutters around the transfer market, that it is met with a rye chuckle and a disparaging dig at the potential recipients.

So, we can be forgiven for hearing the names 'Lautaro Martinez' and 'Arsenal' being mentioned in the same sentence, and instantly closing our chosen social media site with a, "that's enough internet for today."

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And yet, somehow, there are actually some legs to this one. How long those legs are remains to be seen. For now, they feel more like seal's legs (the animal, not the singer of Kiss from a Rose), than those of an Alaskan Moose (Google it, they've got really long legs).

Anyway, if you'd have suggested at the end of last season that Inter's Argentinian superstar would be leaving the Serie A title winners to join a club that had missed out on Europa Conference League football, you'd have been laughed out of your nearest mental institution.

But the winds have changed dramatically this summer, and all of a sudden, the previously impossible is now only highly improbable.

Since winning Serie A, Inter fans have had very little to cheer about.

Scudetto-conquering coach Antonio Conte walked away from the club upon being informed of the financial constraints the owners faced only days after the triumph, and that also led to the sale of wing-back Achraf Hakimi. And despite drumming up €70m by offloading the Moroccan, president Steven Zhang might not be finished there.

Lautaro Martinez
A winner for club and country / Nicolò Campo/Getty Images

Presumably faced with the difficult decision of either selling Romelu Lukaku and offering Martinez a new contract, or simply keeping hold of their top-scoring Belgian and selling their low-paid Argentine, I Nerazzurri have gone with the latter.

Unable to offer El Toro a new deal due to their financial predicament, and with his current deal running until the summer of 2023, Inter know that as soon as this widow passes, their talismanic youngster's value will only begin to drop.

So, with all of these peculiar variables falling into place, Arsenal have entered the chat. The Gunners are undergoing a summer revolution, attempting to gut the squad of its deadweight and bring a fresh, vibrant youth-feel to the Emirates.

The arrival of Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ben White have already whet the Gooners' whistle, but they are craving more new blood. Leicester City star James Maddison is also on their radar, as Mikel Arteta aims to add some quality in the final third.

But each and every one of those deals pales in comparison to the Moby Dick signing of Martinez. The Inter star is only 23 years old, and he has already come to Europe, knocked Juventus off their decade-long perch and helped Argentina win their first Copa America since 1993.

Not a bad résumé, then.

His 37 goals in 100 Serie A appearances speak of a young man with an incredible hunger for success, and his rapid climb from six, to 14 to 17 goals in his three seasons in Italy show a clear upward trajectory in his abilities.

The Argentine's bullish approach to attacking, his link-up play with fellow striker Lukaku and his tireless work-rate make him one of the most attractive prospects in Europe, yet as it stands, no one can justify the expenditure.

Barcelona have been sniffing around ever since Martinez touched down in Milan, and had they been a fully-functioning, competent football club, he probably would have left Serie A now. But Barça are as far from a fully-functioning, competent football club as it is humanly possible.

The Blaugrana's financial crisis once again plays into the hands of the money-crazed Premier League, and in particular, Arsenal. The Gunners are dreaming big, and they see Martinez as the ideal marquee signing to reaffirm their intentions this season.

They're done with being the Premier League's punchline. No more jokes about a lack of ambition, no more ridicule for their weird obsession with signing ageing Chelsea players, and no more slumming it in mid-table. Arsenal want to be contenders, and all signs in the summer are pointing in that direction.

Ignore the comical defensive escapades throughout pre-season, though.

Brazil v Argentina: Final - Copa America Brazil 2021
An Argentinian icon / MB Media/Getty Images

On-field issues linger, but off-field, the Gunners are finally getting their ducks in a row. The squad is beginning to take shape with homegrown talents penning long-term contracts, and young, exciting gems putting faith in the project they're sold.

All that's missing is a statement signing that would shake all of Europe and say: "Arsenal are back."

Martinez would be that signing, and his arrival could genuinely change the fortunes of a sleeping football institution.

Dream big, Gooners, and you just never know what might fall in your favour.