Arsenal have regularly been linked with a move for Porto star Jackson Martinez, but barring a late turn of events it looks as though Arsene Wenger is set to miss out.
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According to the Mirror, his inability to table a bid has been down to the fact that he must shift players out of his squad first before committing to a hefty investment.
However, that delay has essentially allowed his competition to get the upper hand by discussing a fee with the Portuguese outfit, with Milan leading the race.
Rossoneri CEO Adriano Galliani has now visited Portugal twice within a week in order to negotiate with Porto, as reported by Football Italia, and there are suggestions that it is merely a matter of time before the 28-year-old secures a move elsewhere in Europe.
Whether that is Milan or not remains to be seen, but while the Gunners continue to try and offload players, they are risking missing out on one of the most prolific strikers in European football.
The Colombian star has an impressive scoring rate since arriving in Portugal in 2012, as he has found the net on 92 occasions in just 132 appearances for the club.
Martinez has stepped up at international level and has 10 goals in 36 caps for Los Cafeteros, and so there is no denying his pedigree and ability to perform at the highest levels.
Nevertheless, Wenger’s hands are seemingly tied in this situation and that will be the source of significant frustration for fans as they look on and see a top signing pass them by.
Admittedly, Arsenal are blessed with numerous options in this position with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla all capable of operating on the flanks ahead of many more options for Wenger on the bench.
However, the fact remains that they need more killer instinct in their frontline and based on his statistics alone, Martinez clearly knows how to find the net.
Putting his goal-scoring aside, the Porto striker’s all-round game is arguably best-suited to the Premier League, and his addition would only serve to add further pace, dynamism and power to an already dangerous attacking line-up.
Arsenal will certainly be missing out on a top player this summer if they can’t act quick enough, but their loss will ultimately be Milan’s gain if the Italian outfit can wrap up a deal as suggested.
It will be another important summer for Wenger, as although he has now delivered back-to-back FA Cups to the trophy cabinet, the ultimate objective remains competing in the league and also conquering Europe.
Martinez could play a pivotal role in helping them do both, but it may well be too late if Wenger is still struggling to cut expendable individuals from his squad.