Arsenal looking at S-Mart summer move for Porto ace, plus who else?
Arsene Wenger, whose Gunners side are 10/3 to retain the FA Cup with Coral this season, has reportedly made Porto centre forward Jackson Martinez a priority transfer this summer, after the Portuguese club reportedly agreed to sell.
The Arsenal boss views the prolific Colombian as a ‘marquee signing’, with a very modest £29.5m bid said to be enough to snare him.
On the subject, Porto president Pinto da Costa said: “Jackson almost left last summer but we agreed he’d stay one more year. If somebody pays [his value] he will go.”
Although he is 28, and approaching the peak of his career, the reported fee does represent good value for a player who has scored 26 goals in 32 appearances for the club this term, including five strikes in six Champions League matches. If he did join the north London club, he would link up with compatriot and goalie David Ospina, after he moved to the Emirates after the World Cup.
Splashing this amount would allow Wenger to also bring in a defensively-minded central midfielder, which they have been missing this season. It has probably been one of the most speculated solutions over the past few months, with names such as Morgan Schneiderlin, Lars and Sven Bender and, very recently, Paul Pogba linked.
However, as usual, it is likely that Wenger, just like he did with signings of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, will pull off an unexpected coup in this area.
News about Martinez raises the question as to whether Arsenal need another forward, having signed Sanchez last summer, as well as Danny Welbeck, plus youngster Yaya Sanogo and Olivier Giroud also on their books. However, Chile star Sanchez has been at his best operating from the flank, as has Welbeck when fit, so snapping up Martinez could be a smart move.
With Santi Cazorla rumoured to have signed a pre-contract agreement with Atletico Madrid, capturing Porto player Martinez, it may mean Wenger might not need a direct replacement for the Spaniard, and instead push Ozil inside to arguably his best position, where Cazorla currently plays, and utilise Welbeck from the left.
Unless another player crosses the Arsenal manager’s radar who is too good to turn down, it may be that two signings are enough for the club in the summer, though following recent patterns, they are bound to be quality.