Inter Milan vice-president Javier Zanetti says he hopes Chelsea target Lautaro Martinez ‘stays a long time’ as the ace ‘represents a great asset for the club’ amid rumours the Blues are interested in the striker.

The 22-year-old has won plenty of admirers around the continent after an exceptional start to the Serie A season in which he has racked 11 goals in 22 games for third-placed Inter.

Barcelona were thought to be frontrunners for Martinez’s signature but recent reports claim that Manchester City and Chelsea have outbid the Catalan side.

It’s understood both PL clubs are willing to satisfy the forward’s £8.7 million per year salary demands.

However, Argentina and Inter legend Zanetti, now vice-president at the San Siro, has urged his compatriot to ignore the intense speculation and commit his long-term future to the club.

‘I am enormously pleased to be talking about Lautaro,’ Javier told Sky Sport Italia. ‘We signed him when he was the most promising player in Argentine football.

‘Speaking to [ex-Inter star and Racing director of football] Diego Milito we saw that he could become a great player. Now he is only 22 and a fixture in the Argentina team.

‘I watch him train every week in Appiano with his team-mates. He looks happy to me and I hope he stays a long time. As well as the other lads who have grown a lot, he represents a great asset for the club.’

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur’s move for Chelsea contract rebel Willian is reportedly ‘on hold’.

The Brazilian star will see his contract at the club expire at the end of June, and it is widely thought that he will leave Frank Lampard’s side on a free transfer in the summer.

Willian has revealed that he wants to remain in the Premier League regardless of whether he signs a fresh deal with the Blues, and Spurs are reportedly interested in signing the South American.