In-demand Porto striker keen on Stamford Bridge switch.
Arsenal target Jackson Martinez is said to be holding out for a move to Chelsea either in January or next summer, as he wants to work under Blues boss Jose Mourinho, CaughtOffside understands.
The prolific Colombian striker has attracted a great deal of attention in recent months after a terrific first season with Porto last year, scoring 34 goals in 43 games for the Portuguese giants.
Martinez’s fine form in front of goal saw him linked with a whole host of top clubs during the summer transfer window, including Liverpool, Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund, though Chelsea were credited with a strong interest towards the end of the summer after missing out on Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney.
The club instead signed Samuel Eto’o from Anzhi Makhachkala on a short-term deal, and despite much speculation to the contrary, Martinez remained with Porto.
However, with January approaching Arsenal are now said to be considering a big-money bid for the talented 26-year-old, as they eye additions upfront.
Arsene Wenger currently only has Olivier Giroud to choose from as his main striker, and had hoped to bring in Gonzalo Higuain or Luis Suarez in pre-season, only for the Gunners to miss out on both.
Karim Benzema is also on Wenger’s shortlist this January, and it may be that the Real Madrid man will become a more realistic target, as Martinez is said to be privately holding out hope of renewed interest from Chelsea.
It is possible that the Blues will still be in the market for a new striker in the winter, as Eto’o has failed to settle in the Premier League and doubts remain over the form of the club’s other two senior strikers Fernando Torres and Demba Ba.
Galatasaray’s Burak Yilmaz is reportedly a top target for Chelsea at the moment, and may be available as part of a swap deal involving Ba, though Martinez’s desire to play for the Stamford Bridge outfit may see them attempt to persuade Porto into selling their star player.
Martinez is a big fan of Mourinho, who famously led Porto to Champions League glory in 2004 and has gone on to become one of the most successful club managers in the world in his time at Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
Another of Mourinho’s old sides Inter are also tracking Martinez this January following their big-money takeover from Indonesian billionaire Erick Thohir, and despite Martinez’s desire to move to the west London club, the Serie A giants’ financial power could see them win the battle for his signature.