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Jackson Martinez edges closer to Premier League transfer

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Tottenham Hotspur have emerged as shock frontrunners to win the race for Porto striker Jackson Martinez's signature in January, according to The Express.

Martinez has built a reputation as one of the most lethal finishers in European football over the last two seasons at Porto, scoring a quite staggering 69 goals in 101 games for Porto across all competitions.

The 27-year-old only signed a three-year contract in August but is reportedly desperate for one of Europe's top clubs to meet the £40m million buyout clause in that deal, one that was put together by Porto to protect them against the Colombian forward leaving on the cheap.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have been mentioned in connection with Martinez on more than occasion over the last six months, but unless something changes dramatically it looks like Spurs and Napoli are best placed to finally give the lethal finisher a chance in a top European league.

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Frustration over Porto's strong stance is growing

Martinez is thought to have grown frustrated over missing out on the chance to swap Porto for a more prestigious domestic competition on a number of occasions, including seeing a potential summer switch to AC Milan as Mario Balotelli's replacement fall through.

Porto's lofty asking price is the reason they've managed to keep such a ruthless goalscorer against the odds for a third full campaign, a run he's maintained this term with nine goals in 10 games.

Tuesday's Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donestk even saw the hitman dropped by Porto boss Julen Lopetegui in favour of summer signing Vincent Aboubakar, although he still came on to score a brace in the final two minutes and earn his side an unlikely 2-2 draw.

Spurs could sell Soldado to fund a club-record deal

Spurs fans would dearly love chairman Daniel Levy to prove his club still have genuine Champions League aspirations by splashing the cash to sign Martinez, but they'd probably have to offload Roberto Soldado before considering a January offer.

Soldado cost Tottenham a substantial £26m last summer and arrived with a fantastic record of finding the target consistently at Valencia, although the fanfare surrounding that deal has largely subsided thanks to a return of six goals in 29 Premier League games.

Martinez could be a genuine difference maker for Mauricio Pochettino or any other Premier League manager willing to take a punt in January, but Napoli are also seriously interested and could yet hijack the move if their star striker Gonzalo Higuain can't be persuaded to stay put.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea
Arsenal
Premier League
Liverpool
Football

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