There has been no shortage of rumours linking River Plate players away from the Monumental over the past few weeks and while that is unlikely to stop during the transfer window, Sebastián Driussi and Gonzalo Martínez are the two in the headlines at the moment.
Driussi’s tremendous form in front of goal has seen interest from Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Tottenham but reports now suggest that Zenit Saint Petersburg are willing to test River’s resolve with a bid of around €20 million.
Roberto Mancini has recently taken over at the Russian club and tasked with winning the league title back is thought to be keen on adding one of South America’s top young talents.
The 21-year-old has scored 17 goals in the league and another three in the Copa Libertadores this season, marking what has been a spectacular breakthrough year under the guidance of Marcelo Gallardo.
A move either in this window or, as River hope at the end of the year, looks inevitable but it remains to be seen even if Zenit match his release clause whether the forward will be keen on such a move. Strike partner Lucas Alario turned down a switch to China in January, hoping instead for a European transfer later in the year.
It isn’t only goalscorers Driussi and Alario attracting interest though as Portuguese media reports that Sporting Clube de Portugal have earmarked Gonzalo Martínez as a potential target, dubbing the 24-year-old ‘the new Nicolás Gaitán.’
Martínez made an inconsistent start to his River career after signing from Huracán in 2015 but has won over supporters in the Monumental this season with a series of outstanding displays and important goals.
An attacking midfielder with pace, trickery, a wonderful left foot and the ability to play across an attacking three, Pity has now begun to realise his enormous potential.
Sporting are thought to have offered €8.5 million, substantially less than his €15 million release clause, and with River wanting to retain the midfielder until at least the end of the year when the Copa Libertadores would be concluded, a deal still looks someway off.
The Portuguese club look likely to sell fellow Argentine playmaker, Alan Ruiz, and with the funds made available from such a transfer, perhaps Jorge Jesus’ side could up their offer to River.
Jesus, who coached Gaitán for a number of hugely successful years at Benfica, is understood to be an admirer of Martínez.