Arsenal have resurrected their long standing interest in Atletico Madrid star Gelson Martins, according to reports.
Martins is currently enjoying a magnificent return to form in France, having moved to AS Monaco on loan in January. The Portuguese forward only moved to Atletico from Sporting Lisbon in the summer, but suffered a dip in form. He failed to impress in Spain, and was subsequently loaned out to Monaco for the remainder of the season.
Arsenal were actually interested in signing Martins on loan in January too, but failed in their pursuit as the young forward opted for a move to Ligue 1 instead. In hindsight, he will have no regrets considering the fact that he has scored 3 goals and assisted 3 of them as well in just eight appearances so far.
It has been a splendid return to form for the 23-year-old forward. His performances have cast him into the public eye once more. If reports are to be believed, Arsenal have once again retained their interest in signing him and are weighing up a potential move for him in the summer transfer window.
Gelson Martins is on ??
The Portuguese has 3 goals in 4 league games with Monaco thus far ?? pic.twitter.com/1YLVPh0kqg
— Goal (@goal) February 25, 2019
However, signing him might prove to be more complicated a task than it appears to be on the surface. Atletico and Sporting are currently disputing the terms under which Martins moved to the Wanda Metropolitano in the summer. The forward terminated his contract with Sporting following a training ground attack from a group of the club’s Ultra fans.
He joined Atletico in the summer as a free agent. However, Sporting saw this as inappropriate conduct and filed a case with FIFA stating “unacceptable behaviour of Atlético Madrid in the case of Gelson Batalla Martins”. In an attempt to solve the situation, the Madrid based club offered Sporting £13 million as compensation.
However, the Portuguese club turned it down as Martins reportedly had an £86 million release clause. The club have been unable to reach an agreement since, with neither side willing to compromise.
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As a result, signing Martins would just see him carry unwanted excess baggage with him wherever he goes. Arsenal should be wary of this if they still continue to pursue a move for him.