Arsenal have been afforded a huge boost in the ongoing transfer race for Colombia star Jackson Martinez, after the free-scoring striker admitted that he would say yes to the opportunity to move to the Emirates Stadium.
The Daily Express today reports that Martinez has become Arsene Wenger’s top summer target and, despite the fact that Manchester United also have him on their radar, the Frenchman will do his best to convince Porto to sell. It’s believed that the 27-year-old has a release clause of £35million which Wenger is willing to activate, and quotes from the player himself more than make the idea of a move to north London possible.
The Porto forward has sent the rumour mill into overdrive with his most recent comments, having told reporters in Brazil that he used to be a fan of Arsenal and would jump at the chance to play for the Gunners should Wenger come calling. Whilst conceding that no deal had been reached as of yet, Martinez did confirm that discussions were ongoing, and stated his opinion that Arsenal’s style of play suited him.
“I know that there have been discussions, but still no agreements,” he said.
"My agent is taking care of my future, right now I'm at the World Cup and only after the World Cup I'll evaluate proposals.
"As a child I cheered for Arsenal, they play a game that suits me. If I had the occasion to play there, I would say yes."
Wenger’s need for a forward
Naturally the main focus on Wenger’s transfer business this summer is expected to revolve around the purchase of a prolific frontman, as last season proved that the Gunners will struggle to compete with the biggest teams whilst they lack a world-class forward. Olivier Giroud is a classy act when it comes to holding up the ball and linking the play between the midfield and attack, but he has struggled to do the job up top on his own.
Furthermore, with the departure of Nicklas Bendtner Wenger now has only two strikers to choose from, and one of them is the untried Yaya Sanogo.
Having been consistently brilliant for Porto for the past two campaigns, Martinez has proved he’s not simply a one-season wonder. 60 goals in 90 games for the Portuguese giants speaks volumes over his ability to find the back of the net, and he has attracted a reputation for being one of the most reliable finishers in Europe.
As such it’s no wonder that he’s been linked with a host of top clubs, and Wenger will definitely have to work his managerial magic if he hopes to land him. That being said Martinez would surely thrive when placed in a position in front of the creative talents of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla, and so the Frenchman is right to have identified him as a priority.