Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United on alert for Colombian striker

FC Porto Trophy Celebration

Colombian striker Jackson Martinez is one of the most sought after strikers in the world, and now he has become available. Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United will all be on the alert.

Porto’s leading goal scorer, Martinez is a talent so good that he was once deemed unsellable. The Colombian born striker has scored goals wherever he has played, and many feel that he is too good to be playing in a rather uncompetitive Portuguese league.

Martinez, 27, started his career in Colombia, becoming the league’s top goalscorer in 2009 after netting 18 goals. He then moved on to Mexican side Jaguares de Chiapas. The move seemed a little strange, given there were bigger clubs interested in him; nevertheless he signed a 3-year deal with the southern-based Mexican side.

It was with Chiapas that he started to gain recognition from afar - his performances in the Copa Libertadores impressed European scouts and he was subsequently bought by Portuguese giants Porto for a reported fee of £8m

Since making his way to Portugal, the Colombian international has been scoring goals for both club and country - a run of 11 goals in 12 matches beat the previous record held by Radamel Falcao, and the Colombian’s price tag has been soaring.

And with 37 goals in his last 43 appearances, there isn’t a club in Europe who’d turn down his services. But how many clubs can afford him ? A couple of weeks ago, and the answer would have been just one or two, but as soon as the referee blew the full time whistle as Porto lost 2-0 at Atletico Madrid (which put paid to Porto's Champions League hopes), that figure has increased greatly.

Porto’s failure to reach the knock-out phase of the Champions League would have taken a huge knock to the coffers of the Portuguese club. Banking on the added bonuses and TV deals, the Portuguese champions may well now have to sell their star man to balance the books. And, according to the Daily Mail, Martinez could now leave for a price tag of £35m - well within the range of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.

So which one of the Premier League’s big spenders will blink first ? Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has lamented his side poor finishing on many occasions this season, and is desperate for a clinical striker. Arsenal also lack quality upfront, and Manchester United manager David Moyes has admitted the club has funds to strengthen his squad in the transfer window.

The race for Jackson Martinez’s signature is well and truly underway.

Which club has in greater need of his services - Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United ?

image: © dioxido

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