Porto goal machine was target for Ligue 1 giants.
In-demand Porto striker Jackson Martinez had been a target for big-spending Monaco this summer, manager Claudio Ranieri has revealed.
According to the Daily Express, the prolific Colombian was set to become the third player poached by Monaco from Porto, having already signed Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez, before wealthy Russian owner Dmitry Rybolovlev offered Ranieri the chance to sign Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid.
Falcao then became one of the signings of the summer as he moved to the newly-promoted Ligue 1 outfit for around £51m, while Martinez is believed to have continued to attract a great deal of interest from a host of Europe’s top clubs, after he managed an impressive 34 goals in 43 games for Porto last season.
However, given Falcao’s growing reputation as one of the world’s best strikers over the last few years, it is unsurprising that Ranieri opted to sign him when given the chance.
“I scouted both James Rodriguez and Jackson Martinez very carefully, when they were playing together for Porto,” the Italian said.
“Then, one day, our chairman asked me if I were interested in Falcao.
“I told him I was, since I consider him a very good professional as well as a terrific player, and Rybolovlev brought him here.”
Monaco also signed highly promising Sevilla starlet Geoffrey Kondogbia for £17m to complete an ambitious summer in the transfer market, with Ranieri looking to build a team ready to match fellow big-spenders PSG for the Ligue 1 title.