Premier League trio to compete for Colombian goal-machine.
Porto striker Jackson Martinez is set to spark a bidding war between Premier League trio Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool this January as the three clubs desperately seek a new striker.
The prolific Colombian attracted a great deal of interest from several top European sides over the summer after an eye-catching first season in Portugal last season, when he scored an impressive 34 goals in 43 games for Porto.
Martinez looks set to continue his remarkable rise in European football, and has started this campaign in similar fashion, with three goals in three games already, making his days at Porto surely numbered as top clubs start to circle.
Chelsea seemed the closest to landing him towards the end of the summer after they failed in their attempts to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United, though in the end they opted for the cheaper option of Samuel Eto’o, who joined on a one-year contract from Anzhi Makhachkala for just £4m.
Still, with the 32-year-old undergoing an uncertain start to his Premier League career with a disappointing display against Everton at the weekend, Blues manager Jose Mourinho is still keen to recruit a new striker as a long-term solution to the poor displays from the likes of Fernando Torres and Demba Ba as well.
Tottenham, meanwhile, were also linked with Martinez at points over the summer, though they seemingly prioritised other targets as they moved to sign Roberto Soldado from Valencia for £26m, and also considered moves for Internacional’s Leandro Damiao and Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke.
However, they failed to free up space on the wage bill by offloading unwanted backup player Emmanuel Adebayor, who they hope will be persuaded to leave White Hart Lane in January, which will see them in the market for a forward again as manager Andre Villas-Boas remains unconvinced by Jermain Defoe as a backup to Soldado.
Martinez, valued at over £30m by his club, could also be the subject of a bid from Liverpool, who are another side keen to strengthen upfront, particularly as Luis Suarez’s future at Anfield will come under some doubt again if Real Madrid come calling as expected when the transfer window re-opens in January.
Daniel Sturridge has started the season in fine form for Brendan Rodgers’ side, but the Reds boss knows he will need backup for the injury-prone front-man over the course of the season, particularly as summer signing Iago Aspas looks to be struggling to settle in English football.
Porto will be hoping to keep their star player for at least one more season, though they may be ready to negotiate if the price is right, as they have worked wonders in the transfer market in recent years by finding talent on the cheap and selling players on when they establish themselves at the club.
Young defender Eliaquim Mangala is another player who could be on the way out of the club, as Manchester City and Barcelona could renew their interest in the 22-year-old.