Racing's Lautaro Martinez has had talks with Borussia Dortmund - father
The father of Argentina U20 striker Lautaro Martinez has revealed he has had informal talks with Borussia Dortmund regarding his son's potential move to the Bundesliga side in the winter transfer window.
Borussia Dortmund representatives were at La Bombonera to watch the Racing striker play in Sunday's game at Boca Juniors and then had supper with Martinez and his father.
The 20-year-old Lautaro scored and set up the winner as Racing Club ended Boca's unbeaten start in the Argentina Superliga with a 2-1 win.
"We met with them [Borussia Dortmund representatives], it was an informal chat, a dinner, but there is still nothing concrete yet," Mario Martinez, father of Lautaro, told TYC Sports. "But we are in talks.
"They came to the game and I think they got a taste of what Lautaro can give, which is what they came to see."
The Bahia Blanca-born player is tied to Racing Club until June 2020 and is also a reported target of Atletico Madrid. German outlet Ruhr Nachrichten reports that Lautaro has a €9 million release clause in his contract.
"As a father, I want him to go wherever he feels happier and safer," Martinez said. "I would like him to go to the Spanish league because of the language but the most important thing is the sporting project.
"There are options and they will be evaluated.
"Right now we are just enjoying his current form and we hope that things continue like this for him and for Racing."
Martinez, whose son scored nine goals in 23 league appearances for Racing last season, says Lautaro wants to play at the World Cup despite having yet to earn his first cap with Argentina.
"It's among his aims," said Martinez of next year's tournament in Russia.
Martinez is not surprised by the number of clubs interested in his son.
"The sky is the limit as many have said of him," he said. "Lautaro has a winning mentality and he never gives up.
"He works hard every day to improve. He sees what he needs to work on and tries to get better."
Racing Club president Victor Blanco says that Lautaro's future is likely to be in Europe, however the chances of seeing the young striker arrive on the old continent in January are non-existent.
"It's impossible that Lautaro will leave at the end of the year," Blanco told Radio Uno Argentina. "The player has told me personally that he wants to stay [beyond January] and play with us in the Copa Libertadores.
"Lautaro is a different player, among the best that there is in Argentina, not just because of his age and quality. Lautaro has taken a big leap in a short space of time. He deserves all the attention.
"Every Sunday there are club representatives here to see him. His head is in the right place. Last year he was close to Real Madrid but he decided to stay and that was very positive."
Blanco also denied reports that Lautaro could join an Argentinian team at the end of the year, with reports that rivals Boca Juniors are considering him as a replacement for injured striker Dario Benedetto, who tore his right ACL at the weekend.
"The player will not go to another Argentine club," Blanco said. "He is a Racing fan and besides that, no club will pay what Racing pays him. The only thing that makes sense is that he goes to Europe."
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.