Arsenal suffer blow as Atletico looking to complete move for £25m striker

Atletico Madrid are looking to beat Arsenal to the signing of highly rated FC Porto striker Jackson Martinez, according to A Bola.

The news comes after Juventus manager Massimo Allegri confirmed that Atletico striker Mario Mandzukic will make the move to Juventus in a deal worth up to €18 million, leaving Atletico a little bit light in the striker department.

It was said last week that AC Milan had agreed to pay the €35 million release clause in Martinez’s contract, with a Milan club doctor heading to Chile – where the 28-year-old forward is playing in the Copa America with Colombia – to complete a medical.

Though that doesn’t appear to have happened and Atletico Madrid are now looking to pounce.

Arsenal have been strongly linked with the Porto captain with Martinez previously admitting he was a boyhood Gunners fan: “I cheered for Arsenal when I was a kid – I love their style of play,” he said back in 2014.

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Martinez told A Bola: “Arsenal are a great team, playing in one of the best leagues in the world.”

Atletico Madrid have been known to do swift business with FC Porto in the past, with Radamel Falcao making the move from Portugal to the Spanish capital back in 2011.

Both Atletico Madrid and Arsenal can offer Champions League football after finishing third in their respective leagues, whereas AC Milan have failed to qualify for European football for the second season in a row.

That would imply Martinez has a choice to make between both Atletico and the Gunners, but any decision is likely to be made after he returns from the Copa America.

Should Jackson Martinez look to sign for Atletico Madrid or Arsenal?

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TRANSFER ROUNDUP: Liverpool star to Chelsea, Manchester United close in on striker

Daily transfer roundup (Monday, June 15)

MLS Rumours

New York City FC could be on the verge of signing two Spanish full-backs in the next few weeks as Athletic Bilbao’s Iraola and Manchester City’s Angelino are both expected to sign. (REPORT)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks unlikely to join any MLS side. The goal-machine previously said he would be interested in a move to America but now wants a move back to AC Milan. (REPORT)

Ronaldinho is set to meet with Turkish Lig’s Antalyaspor, distancing him from an MLS move. The former Ballon d’Or winner had been linked with LA Galaxy. (REPORT)

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Premier League Rumours

Chelsea are interested in signing Liverpool starlet, Raheem Sterling, but are not willing to stump up the £50m asking price for the 20-year-old winger. (REPORT)

Manchester United are closing in on Mario Mandzukic. Louis Van Gaal has previously coached the forward during his time at Bayern Munich and is keen on linking up with him again. (REPORT)

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Jackson Martinez is set to decide his future in the coming days. The Columbian has been linked with a move to Arsenal but reports have suggested he has already signed for AC Milan. (REPORT)

Spurs ‘closing in’ on £28m rated goal-machine

Tottenham Hotspur are closing in on £28 million-rated FC Porto goal machine, Jackson Martinez, according to Fichajes.net.

Martinez has attracted the attention of clubs all over Europe after another impressive season in which he has scored 20 league goals in 28 games.

The Colombian forward is rated at £28.16 million by transfermarket.co.uk and Fichajes.net have reported that he is close on a deal which would see him move to the North London club.

Spurs boss, Mauricio Pochettino, is expected to sign a goalscorer after another disappointing season where his side have missed out on Champions League football.

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A striker of Martinez’s caliber will no doubt help fan-favourite, Harry Kane, to develop even further after he became the first Spurs player to net 30 goals in a season since Gary Lineker.

If Pochettino can strengthen his squad again this summer Spurs will have a good chance of battling against their competitors in their search for consistent Champions League football.

All parties involved at Spurs may be sceptical about spending around £30 million on a player after the signings of Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado following Gareth Bale’s transfer were deemed as ‘flops’, but it will be interesting to see if the club pursue Martinez.

Is Jackson Martinez a player Spurs need and will Pochettino make marquee signings this summer?

Manchester United forward key to Spurs move for Champions League star

Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao could be set to help Premier League rivals Tottenham by joining former club FC Porto this summer, freeing up the sale of Jackson Martinez, who has been linked with a move to North London.

Falcao’s season-long loan from AS Monaco hasn’t been as successful as United fans would have hoped and the Colombian striker is likely to return to his parent club in France before being sold again.

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Former club FC Porto are keen on a £22 million move for the 29-year-old striker, according to Fichajes.net, and his signing would allow Jackson Martinez to move on after three successful seasons in Portugal.

Spurs have been linked with Martinez for some time and the player is reportedly keen on a move to White Hart Lane as he knows he would see regular first-team action – something Liverpool and Arsenal, two clubs monitoring the Colombian, could not offer.

The 28-year-old goal machine scored against Bayern Munich in Wednesday night’s 3-1 Champions League win and has scored seven goals in nine appearances in Europe’s elite competition this season.

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He has netted an impressive 87 goals in 126 Porto appearances during his three years at the club but could be on the move if any side is willing to offer £27.5 million for his services, as that is the amount reported to be needed to match the release clause in his contract.

Spurs will need attacking reinforcements this summer as Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado could be heading out the exit doors and Harry Kane cannot be expected to lead the line on his own for a whole season.

Spurs’ failure to qualify for the Champions League could be a factor as Martinez will be keen to remain in the competition he has scored 12 goals in 21 appearances in.

Should Spurs make a move to sign Jackson Martinez this summer? Is he the striker they need to push them on a level?

Preview and Prediction: USA vs Colombia

The USMNT face up against Colombia on Friday in their penultimate fixture of what has been a very successful 2014 for US soccer.

Jurgen Klinsmann‘s side will face the World Cup quarter-finalists at Craven Cottage on Friday night before travelling to Dublin to face the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday.

Klinsmann has once again picked a squad with a mixture of experience and youth and he is looking to the older players to help the youngsters settle in.

“They have to help to get these youngsters to another level, it’s really their job and that’s what we ask them,” he said.

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“In a transition phase after a World Cup we need these older players. They have to show the youngsters what it takes to become consistent, not only on the field but off it as well.”

Two 1-1 draws against Ecuador and Honduras last time weren’t bad results but the test of playing the no.3 ranked side in the world will be a step up.

Colombia last played the USA in 2010, in a friendly at PPL Park that ended goalless but we’re expecting plenty of goalmouth action on Friday in what should be an exciting game.

Stars such as James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, Jackson Martinez and Adrian Ramos will all be involved for Los Cafeteros and the USA will need to be at their best to get a result.

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It’s a friendly so in theory the result doesn’t matter, but this is a great chance to prove once again how far US soccer has come and Klinsmann will want his side to be competitive throughout.

The game against Ireland should see more of an experimental lineup but Friday’s game should see a strong starting XI take to the field.

Predicted USA starting XI: Guzan, Johnson, Jones, Besler, Beasley, Yedlin, Beckerman, Diskerud, Green, Nguyen, Altidore

Young attackers such as Jordan Morris, Rubio Rubin and Bobby Wood will hope to feature but they may be rested for the Ireland game.

Key Stat: 2,688 – The number of days between Lee Nguyen‘s last appearance for the USMNT – the second most for an outfield player.

Key player: Jermaine Jones – If Jones is deployed at centre-back once again as expected, he will be up against an incredibly talented Colombian forward line. His performance at the back could go a long way to deciding this one.

Prediction: USA 2-2 Colombia – An entertaining affair expected and the USA to impress by picking up a hard-fought draw.