Arsenal have begun negotiations over the signing of Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Montenegro international has long been widely identified as the Gunners’ leading transfer target this summer and it now appears that they have made their move after watching the player extensively.
As the Mirror suggests, there is likely to be serious competition for Jovetic’s signature with Juventus believed to be interested, while Manchester City have also been linked in that past. The chief challenge for Arsenal, however, may come in persuading Fiorentina to sell the gifted 23-year-old.
The Italian side has consistently insisted that they have no interest in selling their prized asset. It may also prove difficult tempting Jovetic to move, with a place in the Champions League likely to be essential to attain a player of his reputation. If Fiorentina were to qualify for Europe’s premier competition, it may also scupper chances of a move. The Viola are currently just a point out of a qualifying position in Serie A with five games of the season remaining.
With Olivier Giroud suspended for Sunday’s match with Manchester United, Arsenal’s lack of options up front following the departure of Robin van Persie has again be exposed. Manager Arsene Wenger is likely to pick between Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Gervinho, neither of whom look entirely suited to a lone striking role.
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It is also believed that Wenger wants to strengthen his options at the other end of the pitch by signing an established goalkeeper to rival Wojciech Szczesny. There have been increasing reports of late that Arsenal have identified Germany international Rene Adler as a leading target.
However, the 28-year-old’s club, Hamburg, has claimed that there has yet to be any contact.
“It is known that Arsenal are looking for a goalkeeper,” sporting director Frank Arnesen told German publication Bild. “But no one has contacted us yet.”
Adler has stated that the speculation is flattering.
“For any player, it is an honor [to be targeted],” he said. It is something that inspires me even more, but it is not distracting me.”
Bild reports that the player, who only signed for Hamburg from Bayer Leverkusen last summer, is very content at the club and only recently brought a property in the locale.
While Arsenal lost out on long-term target Mario Gotze when it was revealed earlier this week that the Borussia Dortmund star had agreed a transfer to Bayern Munich, the move could also lead to the Gunners failing to attain another young midfield target.
In recent months, Arsenal are said to have been scouting Schalke’s 19-year-old attacking midfielder Julian Draxler. Now, though, German publication Kicker has listed Draxler as a target for Dortmund to replace Gotze.
The Germany international could be available for €20 million (£16.6m).
Arsenal may have more luck in their attempts to procure yet another starlet from Barcelona’s academy. The Daily Mirror reports that Wenger believes that he is in prime position to secure the signing of 16-year-old defender Julio Pleguezuelo Selva.
Much to Barcelona’s frustration, the player is likely to leave for just a minimal compensation fee. Arsenal have also previously signed the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Fran Merida and Jon Toral in similar circumstances.