Arsenal prepare Martinez bid, Vidal says 'no' to Man Utd

Jul 25, 2014
Bill Mann

Could Gunners be sending Joel Campbell out on loan because they have another striker up their sleeve?

As we reported yesterday Arsenal are reportedly ready to loan Joel Campbell to Sunderland despite the face the Costa Rican striker dazzled during the World Cup in Brazil. But perhaps Talksport knows the reason why Arsene Wenger is happy to farm out Campbell, for it claims that the Gunners are closing in on Porto hitman Jackson Martinez.

The Colombian World Cup star has a £32m buy-out clause woven into his contract and though the Portuguese club are insistent that it must be met, they are willing to sell if a club stumps up the sum. The club that finds the cash could be Arsenal – although the Gunners could face competition from AC Milan, Roma and Spanish outfit Valencia. All are interested in Martinez who, since joining Porto two seasons ago, has netted 46 times in 60 league appearances. Porto paid Mexican club Chiapas just £7.7m for Martinez in 2012 so if he does move on they'll have made themselves a nice little earner.

Meanwhile, Juventus and Chile star Arturo Vidal has dismissed talk of a move to Manchester United, according to the Italian newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport. The 27-year-old has been linked with a £36m move to Old Trafford from Italy, but on arriving back in Turin from holiday, he was asked whether he will remain at Juventus or seek a fresh challenge in England. "I'll talk to [coach Massimiliano] Allegri on Monday and then we will see,” he replied. "But I'm not going to Manchester."

In other news the Evening Standard reports that German outfit Eintracht Frankfurt have signed midfielder Lucas Piazon on a season-long loan from Chelsea. Since arriving at the Bridge in 2012 the Brazilian playmaker has struggled to impose himself in the first team and was last season sent to Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch league. Now the 20-year-old will be strutting his stuff in the Bundesliga with Frankfurt sporting director Bruno Hubner delighted to have snapped up the youngster. "We are glad that we were able to reach an agreement after lengthy but very fair negotiations with Chelsea and Piazon will strengthen us in the coming season," he told the club's official website.

Meanwhile former Chelsea midfielder and perennial England flop Frank Lampard has joined Major League Soccer side New York City FC on a two-year deal. BBC Sport is one of several outlets to confirm the news although the 36-year-old veteran was first linked with a move Stateside weeks ago.

"New York ticks all the right boxes for me. It's very exciting," said Lampard. "Having seen the vision of this club, I have seen a real long-term plan and I want to be involved and I want to keep on challenging myself."

New York City FC is a new franchise and the 2015 season will be their first taste of the MLS. How Lampard is received by the fans remains to be seen. Earlier in the week, a Big Apple tabloid reminded its readers of Lampard's indecent behaviour in the hours after the 9/11 terror attacks of 2011. But for the time being all is well with City boss Claudio Reyna, declaring: "Frank Lampard is one of the greatest players in Premier League history... he is a leader and we are extremely delighted to have him here."

The Daily Mail reports that Lampard has talked of his regret at his actions. He revealed: "I was naive and a young boy at the time. I was out on a day I shouldn't have been — I certainly wouldn't do it today. I've tried in the last 13 years at Chelsea to be not just a good footballer, but a good man off the pitch."

Sign up for our daily newsletter