Jackson Martinez still available for Arsenal transfer as agent denies Roma deal

Porto F1

Arsenal transfer target Jackson Martinez has not signed an agreement with Italian side AS Roma despite reports.

Defending champions FC Porto may be suffering a disappointing season in Portugal, sitting in third in the Primeira Liga, but Jackson Martinez has maintained his consistency.

The star striker is the top scorer in the division, with 27 goals across all competitions this season.

With a £34 million release clause in his contract, the Colombian is one of the most eligible strikers in Europe to move to a top side.

Arsenal have been regularly linked, as have Chelsea -but with the Blues reported widely to have tied up a deal for Diego Costa, the Gunners are expected to step up their interest in Martinez.

Yet reports surfaced in Italy this week, stating that the striker had an agreement to join ambitious side Roma this summer. Roma had already beaten Arsenal to the signature of young prospect Antonio Sanabria in January from Barcelona.

Corriere dello Sport claimed that Martinez is desperate to play in Italy and join Roma, but the Giallorossi were yet to express their interest to his current club Porto.

In the last 24 hours, Martinez' agent William Lara has stepped in to explain the situation, and diffuse the rumours.

He told Tuttomercato: "It's a big club, no doubt. Porto at this time has not yet initiated any contact to this assignment. It has more to think about."

"The situation is critical, not the best. Porto are focused on this season finale, this situation will be evaluated later."

The situation referred to is the management at Porto. Paulo Fonseca was sacked in March after nine months, replaced by B team manager Luis Castro until the end of the season.

A new appointment is expected to be made this summer, and before then Porto are not even desiring to consider the scenario. The presence of the release clause in his contract calls this into question, but Porto are clearly pushing the situation onto the back-burner.

For now what's clear, is that Martinez remains a Porto player, and not a Roma one. Which means Arsenal are still free to pursue his signature this summer.

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