Thursday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Martinez to Chelsea, Salah to Spurs

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It seems as though Jose Mourinho is lining up big money deals for January in order to try and kick his Chelsea side on to the next level. Next up: Jackson Martinez. The FC Porto striker has apparently had his release clause of $50 million met by the Blues and the agent of the 27-year-old Colombian forward is said to be flying to London on Thursday to seal the deal. Mourinho has long been linked with Martinez’ countryman Radamel Falcao, as the Portuguese boss went to watch Colombia beat Belgium during the international break. However, it now looks like Martinez — who has scored 34 goals in 40 games for Porto — was the man Mourinho scouted and could be suiting up for Chelsea when January rolls around.

Tottenham’s creative struggles continue but they could have an answer lined up by bringing in Egyptian international Mohamed Salah from FC Basel. The tricky winger scored home and away against Chelsea in the Champions League and is valued at $30 million by the Swiss club who won’t stand in his way if an English club comes calling. Salah has shown he can embarrass full backs with ease and with Spurs’ Technical Director Franco Baldini traveling to watch him score the winner for Basel against Chelsea on Tuesday, Tottenham could soon have a new wide man at White Hart Lane.

Going back to Chelsea, the Blues are favorites to sign Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian international, 25, prefers a switch to Chelsea over Manchester United and Liverpool and the Blues are keen to snap up the creative midfielder who can play equally well from deep lying positions and up top. In Spain this man has been billed as the best payer in the league after the big three — Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar — which is high praise for Sevilla’s captain. The Andalusian club want to keep him on board and will offer Rakitic a new deal but if one of the PL big boys do come calling in January, it’ll be hard to turn them down.

Porto’s Brazilian international left back Sandro is attracting Manchester United’s attentions as the Red Devils look for a long-term replacement for Patrice Evra. The French veteran is expected to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season and 22-year-old Brazilian international full back Sandro fits the bill. Porto are looking for at least $25 million for Sandro but United will lock horns with Inter Milan for the highly-rated young defender.

Finally, Arsenal have been linked with young Spanish winger Alvaro Vadillo — dubbed the new Cristiano Ronaldo — as the Real Betis teenager has declared his interest in playing for the Gunners. Vadillo, 19, is touted as one of the biggest talents in the Spanish game and is expected to attract interest from all over Europe as his wizardry on the wing has seen plenty of scouts watch him closely already. The youngsters release clause is $25 million but he still has two more years left on his deal at Betis. Last summer Tottenham were interested in the attacker and Vadillo’s agent expects Arsenal and plenty of other top European clubs to come calling this January.