The season-ending injury to Theo Walcott during FA Cup play has focused Arsenal’s transfer session on finding a new striker to fill the void left by the English scorer.
Reports stated earlier this week Walcott tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Tottenham and will miss a minimum of six months, also ruling him out of the World Cup.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger said he was “devastated” by Walcott’s injury and will now have to intensify his search around Europe for an attacker capable of equaling the 24-year-old’s five goals and four assists.
Already in hot pursuit of Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, Wenger and Arsenal officials could bend to the Spanish giants demands with Walcott out.
Morata is desperate for more playing time and according to Daily Mail he indicated he’d be open to leave Madrid for the Premier League. Tottenham are also interested in the 21-year-old, but it will take a £1.7 million loan fee and the convincing of Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti in order to consummate a deal.
“Morata is an important player and I want him to stay,” Ancelotti said. “If he's not comfortable then maybe we could loan him out next year. For now, no-one is going.”
After arriving in Madrid in 2008 from Getafe, Morata has split time between the first and second teams, totaling 45 goals in 83 appearances for the B-squad. He’s also totaled 11 caps and netted 12 goals for Spain’s under-21 team.
Arsenal could instead go back to their chase for Porto’s Jackson Martinez, as reported by Metro. Dubbed the Gunners top transfer target in January, Martinez leads the Portuguese side with seven goals and pushed them to second on the table after 14 matches. Originally hailing from Colombia, Martinez has netted 38 total goals since he arrived at Porto in 2012, and he represents a hefty price tag of £26.5 million on the open transfer market.
Citing reports out of Italy, Arsenal may also be in the mix for Roma striker Mattia Destro, a 22-year-old Italian responsible for three goals and one assist in four matches this season.
According to Metro, Destro has struggled for playing time in second-place Roma’s lineup, netting two of his appearances off the bench.