Luciano Vietto and Jackson Martinez have both been heavily tipped for moves to England this summer, but the duo instead appear set to link up together at Atletico Madrid in one of the potentially most devastating strike partnerships in Europe.
But the latest noises suggest that it will be La Liga 2-0 Premier League in the transfer window war.
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The Daily Mail reports that Villarreal president Fernando Roig was quoted by Spanish newspaper AS as saying: “He (Vietto) has been sold to Atletico.”
The 21-year-old Argentine, who scored 12 goals in his debut season for the Yellow Submarines last term, could be partnered by Martinez, who the Daily Mail understands is on his way to Atletico after turning down AC Milan.
The Colombian, 28, has bagged 81 goals in 117 appearances during three years at Porto and has a further 10 at international level.
Madrid have wasted no time whatsoever in lining up high-quality replacements for Mario Mandzukic – their 20-goal forward who, according to Sky Sports, is having a medical at Juventus after only 12 months at the Vicente Calderon.
But Arsenal’s slowness out of the blocks again seems to have cost them.
The Gunners were reportedly in contention to sign French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia before he agreed a five-year contract, as BBC Sport report, with Italian club Inter Milan, who cannot offer him Champions League football.
Liverpool cannot be accused of dawdling in the transfer market. They have already signed four players this off-season, but perhaps no longer have the pedigree to rival clubs such as Atletico for the game’s top talents.