Manchester United to trump Tottenham for Jackson Martinez
Manchester United, 5/2 with Coral to win the FA Cup, could be set to emerge as rivals for apparent Tottenham and Liverpool target Jackson Martinez.
The powerful Porto frontman is expected to depart the Dragons this summer, with a host of top clubs said to be in the queue for his signature.
Spurs were supposedly favourites to secure impressive Martinez’s services, but the Red Devils may now rush ahead of their Premier League rivals in the race to acquire the Colombia hitman.
Louis van Gaal has reportedly been sending scouts to run the rule over the exciting 28-year-old, who has racked up 25 goals and four assists in 29 appearances for Porto this term.
In a tug of war between United, Tottenham and Brendan Rodgers’ Reds, the Old Trafford outfit would likely triumph. However, much will depend on Van Gaal’s ability to steer his side to Champions League football.
The Red Devils have often played two up top this term, but senior strikers Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Wayne Rooney, who has been regularly deployed in a deeper role, have so far all failed to reach double figures in the Premier League.
With exciting starlet James Wilson still to develop to his full potential and on-loan Monaco man Falcao fighting for his Old Trafford future, there could be space for a summer swoop for yet another attacking superstar.
Prolific Martinez, who is blessed with pace, precision and power, would certainly seem to fit the bill for a modern Premier League poacher, and a reported release clause of £27.5m is unlikely to be too steep for United.
If Martinez makes the move from Portugal to England, it could signal the end of struggling centre forward Falcao’s time in Manchester.
Martinez, who has 29 caps for Colombia, often plays second fiddle to his compatriot in the national team, but could now take his place at Old Trafford.
A spanner in the works could occur, however, if an Italian giant were to offer the Coffee Growers talent the prospect of a transfer to Serie A.
When questioned about about recent speculation, Martinez’s agent Peppino Tirri stated: “His desire is clear: he wants to play in Serie A. He has his heart set on Italy and if he were to leave Porto then Serie A would be his first choice.”
The Premier League elite would surely be confident that a superior financial package could convince Martinez to ice his apparent dreams of Serie A, but if the lethal striker opts for Italy, United and co will have to turn their attentions elsewhere.
Martinez’s club Porto will continue their Champions League campaign next week, and are to 11/8 to beat Swiss Super League Basel on their travels.