Arsenal have put out feelers for Porto striker Jackson Martinez in case a loan deal for Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata cannot be agreed. The Gunners re-opened talks with Real yesterday despite having their previous approaches for Morata rebuffed. But if the club cannot strike a short-term deal, they are prepared to spend heavily to land a reliable striker. Colombia striker Martinez, 27, is a leading candidate, and he is thought to have a £33.2 million (R581.44m) release clause. Rubin Kazan forward Salomon Rondon - a target for Tottenham - has also impressed Gunners scouts, while Arsenal may revive interest in Lille's Salomon Kalou , pictured below. Arsene Wenger would love to sign Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa , who has a £32m buy-out clause. But with Atletico still involved in the Champions League and Costa aiming to win a place in Spain's World Cup squad, it will be all but impossible to prise him from Madrid this month. Wenger also planned a summer move for Barcelona winger Pedro, 26, although Theo Walcott's cruciate ligament injury could see him accelerate his interest. England manager Roy Hodgson said yesterday that the loss of Walcott for six months is a blow for club and country, but he believed the Arsenal forward can come back even stronger. Walcott was expected to have played a key role for England at the World Cup in Brazil in June. "I spoke with Theo and just wanted to express my disappointment to him. It is a blow for him personally of course, and for both Arsenal and England ," Hodgson said. "We had quite a lengthy conversation and it is such a shame that we have lost a player of his calibre for the World Cup. I know the character he has, and I know he will come back even stronger from this setback." Arsenal fullback Carl Jenkinson said: "If anybody is going to come back stronger, it is Theo. He is incredibly focused and mentally he is a very strong character. "It is tough to see one of your friends out for a long period." - Daily Mail Cape Argus
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