Atletico Madrid on Sunday confirmed they have loaned Portuguese forward Gelson Martins to Ligue 1 strugglers AS Monaco for the rest of the season.

The forward arrived in controversial fashion on a free transfer from Sporting Club de Portugal, over the summer, but has struggled to win a place in the side which is currently second in Spain's Liga Santander.

Martins has made just eight league appearances, seven of which were as a substitute, and played four more games in other competitions, scoring one goal in the Copa del Rey.

The Spanish club confirmed the news on its official website, saying that Martins "faces a new challenge in his professional career and from Atletico Madrid we wish him a lot of luck."

Atletico are closing in on a deal to sign Chelsea's former Real Madrid striker, Alvaro Morata on loan with the move expected to be confirmed on Monday or Tuesday.