Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Must Seal Jackson Martinez Deal Before World Cup

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistApril 13, 2014

FC Porto's Jackson Martinez, from Colombia, eyes the ball past Academica's Paulo Grilo, left, in a Portuguese League soccer match at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal, Sunday, April 6, 2014. Porto will play Sevilla in a Europa League Quarter-final, second leg soccer match on Tuesday, April 10. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)
Paulo Duarte

Arsenal are right to be interested in the talents of free-scoring Porto striker Jackson Martinez but timing could be everything in their pursuit this summer.

Speaking to TMW this past week (h/t The Mirror's Alex Richards), Martinez's agent Manuel Manso is quoted as saying: "Until May we will not talk with any team. He’s focused on the end of the season with Porto—once the championship is finished we will see."

PORTO, PORTUGAL - AUGUST 25:  Jackson Martinez of FC Porto in action during the Liga Zon Sagres match between FC Porto and Vitoria Guimaraes at Estadio do Dragao on August 25, 2012 in Porto, Portugal.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Though admirable in terms of his commitment to the Dragons, those comments would suggest that a summer departure from the Estadio Dragao is within the realms of possibility.

Arsene Wenger can be pleased in that vein of thinking but with the World Cup promising to increase his price-tag substantially, initiative will be the key to whether or not the north Londoners can cut a deal.

With Radamel Falcao's involvement in the Brazil tournament put under a great deal of uncertainty thanks to a knee injury he picked up in January, Martinez will be one of the main candidates to step up in his Colombian countryman's absence.

The forward has 18 goals to his name from 25 league starts this term, per Transfermarkt.

BeIN Sport's Matteo Bonetti and South American football expert Rupert Fryer both agree that the 27-year-old could well be looked upon to fill in during Falcao's absence:

It's not unheard of for transfer fees to become inflated in the year of a major international tournament. Performing in front of a global audience is the opportunity that every player desires in exposing their talents to the masses.

However, Porto are a club intimately familiar with the art of bartering, regularly selling on their best players for vast profits after a couple of seasons impressing with the Liga Primeira outfit.

In recent years, Hulk, Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez and the aforementioned Falcao are just some of those to have left the club for significantly higher fees than those for which they arrived.

The same threatens to happen with Martinez unless the Gunners can move to organise a swift agreement, something which Porto will assuredly be against as they look to advertise their Colombian superstar.

That thought is only encouraged when one considers that Colombia are seen as something of a dark horse for this year's World Cup, having come through CONMEBOL qualification with a gleaming defensive record and with a number of top attacking talents at their disposal.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 14:  Jackson Martinez of Colombia lines up ahead of the International Friendly match between Colombia and Serbia at the Mini Estadi Stadium on August 14, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Italian outlet Mediaset Premium (h/t Football Italia) reports that Inter are another club interested in the player, and they are willing to spend €30 million on his signature.

Arsenal are in need of offensive recruits, too, having watched as Olivier Giroud has strived to hold up the attacking line almost single-handedly for much of this season and with Nicklas Bendtner out of contract in two months' time, the need for further recruits is major.

The north Londoners have always taken a pragmatic approach with their transfer policy, never ones to over spend on playing personnel.

As a result, an early swoop for this particular striking sensation would be wise, lest they find themselves priced out of the race altogether by those clubs more willing to spend the big sums.