Arsenal have been hit by the news that Porto star Jackson Martinez has confirmed that he is joining Atletico Madrid, reports Spanish publication AS.
The striker had been linked to the Gunners by the Daily Express, but it seems they have missed out on their man. The player himself confirmed this on Friday, after being part of the Colombia team that was eliminated from the Copa America by Argentina.
“I can confirm I am going to Atletico,” Martinez said, “I am going there for four years but I still don’t know when I will be introduced.”
This is not the first time that a move to Atleti has been ‘confirmed’ for the 28-year-old. His agent, Luiz Henrique Pompeo, revealed on Wednesday that a deal had been struck with the Rojiblancos according to talkSPORT.
“It’s true, he’s signed a four-year deal with Atletico,” Pompeo said, “They are a club that has been interested in Jackson for a long time and in the end they presented him with the right offer.”
This will be a major blow to Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman’s side is in need of a clinical striker to help them challenge Chelsea for the Premier League title. Olivier Giroud is a solid option, but doesn’t seem to cut it at the highest level, while Theo Walcott isn’t the focal point that is needed – and the less said about Danny Welbeck’s four goals in 25 top flight appearances last season the better.
Atletico have a good record of bringing in top class strikers in recent times, with the club always seeming to do well to move for replacements when their big names are poached. When Sergio Aguero joined Manchester City back in 2011, the Spaniards immediately brought in Radamel Falcao from Porto, and when he left Diego Costa was able to step up. When Costa then joined Chelsea last summer, Mario Mandzukic came in from Bayern Munich and did a good job before then leaving for Juventus this summer, as confirmed last week on BBC Sport.
The 2013/14 La Liga champions will now be hoping Martinez can have a similar impact at the Vicente Calderon, having impressed greatly in his three-year stint in Portugal.