Arsenal have been put on alert after Jackson Martinez admitted he will leave Porto over the summer.
The 28-year-old striker has been long linked with a move to the Premier League, with Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs all interested in the Colombian.
But the Gunners appear to be frontrunners for Martinez’s signature after the in-form forward revealed during last summer’s World Cup that he used to cheer for Arsenal as a boy and would jump at the chance to play for them.
It is thought Martinez, who has netted 25 goals in 29 outings so far this season, has a release clause of £27.5 million in his current deal, with the Premier League trio, plus Roma, Napoli and Juventus all prepared to meet the price.
And the Colombian international is open to a move to either England or Italy when the season is over:
‘In the summer I’ll leave Porto for a new team.
‘Players develop well in Portugal, and I thank the club for making me the player I am today.
‘However, it’s time for a new adventure, to grow from a professional point of view.
‘Italy or England? Possibly, but I’m waiting for the summer. My agent deals with these things, and at the moment I don’t know what my future will be.
‘There are several teams interested, and I can’t say definitively where I’ll play.’
Arsenal could do with another striker to challenge Olivier Giroud, as well as offer another alternative upfront.
£27.5 million is not a bad sum to pay for a prolific striker like Martinez for some clubs out there. However, I believe it would be seen as a gamble to splash such an amount for someone who has scored a haul of goals in the Portuguese league – a league which isn’t known for its competitiveness.
It will be interesting to see whether Arsene Wenger makes a move for the Colombian, especially after learning that the player would love to play for the Frenchman at the Emirates.