Martinez, 22, has bagged 16 goals in 27 appearances for Inter this season and is therefore attracting plenty of attention across the continent.
Reports suggest the Blues, who are on the hunt for another centre-forward, have identified him as a potential summer transfer target.
Manchester United are also said to be interested in the Argentinian, who has a £94m release clause in his current Inter contract.
But according to Nicol, both Premier League sides will be left disappointed if Barca make a beeline for Martinez in the summer window.
“[He] would be a great signing for Chelsea,” Nicol told ESPN FC .
“I think the problem for Chelsea is there may be if this guy becomes available, because I’m not quite sure if he’s available.
“Obviously money talks but if this guy is available and this guy keeps producing what he’s been producing, then Chelsea might be at the back of the queue.
“[Barcelona have] lost Suarez through injury, they’ll probably be losing Suarez over the next 12 months, 18 months to two years.
“They’re looking for somebody, he fits the bill big time.
“If it’s a choice for him of Chelsea or Barca… right [Barcelona].”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was desperate to bring in another striker last month, reportedly setting his sights on a move for Lyon frontman Moussa Dembele.
In the end, though, Lampard was left frustrated when the Blues failed to bolster their frontline.
After missing out on reinforcements in January, Lampard said: “Look at Manchester United signing a big, big player, a world-class player [Bruno Fernandes] in my opinion.
“And the teams around us, Sheffield United making fantastic signings. Tottenham have signed a few, and they're not behind us.
“This is not to talk ourselves down, because we're six points clear in fourth, [but] now we have probably become the underdogs... because the teams around us have strengthened.”
According to Calciomercato , Chelsea chief Roman Abramovich is ready to hand Lampard the attacking boost he is so desperately craving at the end of the season.
It is believed the Blues chief has identified Martinez and Dembele as his top transfer targets for the summer window.