With Arsenal’s attack failing to break down a previously porous Norwich back line in a 1-0 defeat on Saturday, manager Arsene Wenger’s hunt for a new striker is only likely to intensify. It was recently claimed that Wenger had made the signing of a front man a priority and would be given £35 million to spend in January.
The Daily Star is the latest source to claim that Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez is at the forefront of Wenger’s thinking. The versatile Spain international was a target for the Gunners in the summer before a move for Olivier Giroud was finalized. Arsenal scout Francis Cagigao is said to have highly-recommended the former Deportivo La Coruna man.
Adrian, 24, has a £15 million release clause in his contract, a price that Wenger may well decide represents value for money.
An even more economical deal could be on the cards, though, with Arsenal said to be one of a number of clubs interested in Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The 29-year-old is out of contract next summer and could be sold for a cut-price fee or negotiate a pre-contract agreement in January.
Along with the Gunners, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool have all been linked to the Netherlands international, according to the Daily Mirror.
Huntelaar, who has previously played for the likes of Milan, Real Madrid and Ajax, scored a league-leading 29 goals in the Bundesliga last season.
While Adrian and Huntelaar could potentially arrive in January, another leading forward is being linked with a move to the Emirates next summer. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema could be on his way out of the Bernabeu at the end of the season, according to Spanish publication El Mundo Deportivo, and TalkSport are reporting that Arsenal could reignite their interest in the France international.
The speculation has been sparked by Real Madrid’s reported pursuit of Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, which, if successful, could lead to Real looking to offload Benzema.
While Wenger would doubtless welcome the opportunity to sign a player who scored over 30 goals last season, there would be a doubt about their ability and willingness to pay the large fee and salary that is likely to be required. Those question marks are particularly relevant with big-spending Paris Saint-Germain said to have made an approach for the 24-year-old in the summer.
There has also been further speculation about highly-rated Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. The 19-year-old is believed to be high on Arsenal’s list of targets, after a string of fine performances for the Championship club.
According to the Daily Mirror, however, Tottenham have now identified the England Under-21 international as their leading transfer target. The story claims that Palace value Zaha at over £20 million, with Tottenham looking to make an initial payment of half that amount.
Chelsea and Manchester City are also interested, however, while Pat Rice has gone to watch Zaha twice in recent weeks for the Gunners, reports the Mirror.