Date: 5th January 2008 at 11:00am
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Jason Burt has a report in The Independent suggesting that Villa and Manchester City have both officially approached Newcastle United about the availability of Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins. The report also suggests that Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur are also keeping a watching brief.

The Independent revealed last summer that the 23-year-old has a release clause of £13m in his contract and they claim that Villa are prepared to pay that to get him whilst the player prefers a move to Manchester City.

Apparently Newcastle would like to keep him and were yesterday deciding whether to play him v Stoke in the FA Cup thus cup tying him. Martins scored 11 Premiership goals last season (17 goals in total) and is their top scorer with 6 this season but reports suggest he – amongst many others – are fed up with Sam Allardyce and his tactics.

The report goes on to say that Martin O’Neill did want Peter Crouch but as Rafa Benitez has said no one is leaving in January, that move looks doubtful. They also link us with 20-year-old Paris St-Germain striker Loris Arnaud, who can leave on a free in the summer.

So far this season Martins has played 11 being replaced 9 times and coming on as a sub 6 times. He has 6 Prem goals and 1 league cup goal. He is also a very good boy as he has no red or yellow cards to his name!

This is currently being discussed in our forum (Click Here ) with mixed views!

BarosBarryBouma said, Strong, quick and eye for goal and (maybe) young… this seems like the most promising link of the transfer window so far to me… thoughts people? Adding, Not sure about that one. If Martins – as reported – has a release clause in his contract, they can’t stop him leaving. Also, Allardyce will obviously want to make changes himself in the transfer window (most notably in defence I would of thought) and he may need to raise funds to do so. I wonder if we could do a double deal and rescue Milner at the same time..?

Wade_man_uk added, I’d love him at the Villa! If we could get him for £13 million I’d be well chuffed! With Spavin agreeing: in the words of a famous Geordie, ‘i would love it, i would love it’ if we signed martins…quality player ruined by Newcastle, the only reason he has no form is he spent most the start of the season sitting on the bench behind that loser Michael Owen, because Sam chose an English player over ability…imagine him and Gabby in the same side, with big John Carew…yes please!

So what do you think, good signing or not?