As expected, Porto and Colombia striker Jackson Martinez has rejected the offer of Arsenal and decided to ink a deal with Atletico Madrid, various media reported. The announcement came as a surprise for Arsenal which has confirmed it was in talks with Martinez less than 24 hours ago.
"I can confirm I am going to Atletico," Martinez told reporters after emerging from talks with Atletico. He went on to say, "I am going there for four years, but I still don't know when I will be introduced. I have had a great progression, always learning, always growing, and now I'm going to Atletico where I hope to help the team and also continue to grow as a player. I hope to be another Colombian as successful as Falcao was there."
The 28-year-old former Chiapas star has started talks with Arsenal to move to the Premiere League, said Daily Star. Arsenal reportedly offered $39.4 million to acquire the services of Martinez.
But Martinez did not bite the offer and instead decided to move to the Spanish capital.
The move by Martinez to switch to Atletico did not come as a surprise to many insiders as they believe the Porto striker has already set his sight on the Spanish team even before negotiations with Arsenal and Milan started, said Euro Sport.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper AS on Wednesday, June 24, Martinez's agent Luiz Henrique Pompeo hinted that a deal with Atletico has already been finalized.
Pompeo was quoted as saying, "It was finalised today. We want to thank Milan for their interest right up the end, we feel very honoured by it, but you can't be in two places at once," said Pompeo. "It's a very big club, which has done important things in the league and in Europe. Jackson is going there to also achieve great things and to bring the best out of himself to become even better. That's his dream and he's very excited. He's really happy."
During the interview Pompeo credited Simeone for playing a key role in convincing in Martinez to join Atletico.
He went on to say, "He's a coach with a winning mentality. Now it just remains for Atlético and Porto to make the official announcement and after the Copa América, where Martínez is representing Los Cafeteros, he will be presented with his new shirt."
With Martinez heading to Spain, Atletico must look elsewhere to find another forward.