Liverpool and Arsenal are set to receive a shock in their £40million pursuit of Jackson Martinez this week as Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur have resolved to hijack the process and land him themselves.
According to the Daily Express, Mauricio Pochettino has had enough of misfiring front men Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado, so will move for a high-profile replacement when the January transfer window opens.
The report claims that Brendan Rodgers and Arsene Wenger were originally leading a host of top clubs in pursuit of the Porto centre-forward because his preferred destination was the Premier League, but Spurs are now ready to throw a spanner in the works.
Porto are reluctant to sell the Colombia international but have told clubs it will take a fee in the region of £40million if they are to be convinced to let their prized asset leave. Both Arsenal and Liverpool could afford such a fee, but there are doubts as to whether Spurs could stretch that far.
Any move for Martinez would likely be reliant on sales at White Hart Lane in January, so the futures of Adebayor and Soldado do not look good if Pochettino is forced to sell. The former has even lost his place in the team recently to young striker Harry Kane and has been the target of considerable ire from Spurs supporters.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s interest in Martinez would be something of a surprise, what with the current attacking options available to Wenger. The Gunners’ boss spent £35million on Alexis Sanchez and £16million on Danny Welbeck in the summer, so another forward addition would seem unlikely.
It has been a poor start to the Premier League season at Emirates Stadium, but the problem has not been a lack of goals. Defensive solidity has almost been nonexistent so far and the summer optimism developed after winning the FA Cup appears to have dissipated.
Brendan's Suarez Lament
Liverpool could be tempted into taking the plunge in the transfer window, however, as things have not gone well for them up to now. Losing Luis Suarez was bad enough, but his sale to Barcelona added to the injuries keeping Daniel Sturridge out for the past three months have been a body blow.
Mario Belotelli was purchased for £16million from AC Milan in the summer to fill the gap left by last season’s top scorer leaving, but the Italian has failed miserably to deliver and patience with him is already running thin. Whether that is enough for the Anfield club to shell out £40million is questionable.
Keep On Dreaming
Martinez’s desire for the Premier League and a lack of interest from any of the Champions League clubs appear to be Spurs’ best chance at landing Martinez. However, no Champions League and a restricted budget makes this one for the ‘ambitious’ file.