Jackson Martinez has been absolute hit since moving to Europe in July 2012 with Porto, scoring 60 goals in 94 total appearances for the Portuguese giants.
The Colombian’s prolific form has seen him linked with top clubs across the continent as he’s long been tipped to make the leap to an elite side.
And it seems this summer may finally be the time to leave the Estadio do Dragao. In February, the 27-year-old admitted that he’d like to try his hand elsewhere.
Arsenal are seen as a clear contender for Martinez’s signature, expected to make a splash in the transfer market this summer for a high-profile addition up front.
But the Gunners aren’t without competition, of course. Two weeks ago, North London rivals Tottenham were reported to be in talks with the Independiente Medellin youth product.
Serie A sides Napoli and AS Roma have also been closely associated with Martinez - and it appears the latter may now be a distinct threat to Arsenal’s ambitions.
According to Peppino Tiri, Martinez’s representative in Italy, Roma are earnestly considering tabling an offer for the Porto star.
Tiri told Radio CRC: “Roma are seriously thinking about signing him.
“Porto cannot risk a player like him going towards the end of his contract. In that case, the buy-out clause would no longer apply.”
Martinez reportedly has a £34million release clause in his current deal, which is set to expire in June 2016.
As noted by Tiri, waiting until next summer to sell would foreseeably put Porto in a weaker position, so it appears that now is the time to cash in.
If Arsenal are genuinely planning to throw their hat into the ring for Martinez, they would do well to act fast as Roma could gain a considerable advantage by opening negotiations first.
Martinez is set to feature at the World Cup in Brazil and it’s thought he’s keen to resolve his future before the tournament starts next month - meaning the next three weeks could be crucial to determining his next move.