Arsenal are being linked with a bold £20 million bid for Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic. The Daily Express reports the rumour, which is one of the more outlandish of the January transfer window.
It comes at a time when several Arsenal targets have either signed elsewhere, or ruled out a move from their current clubs. That is increasing the tension on the Gunners to invest in reinforcements this month, to help rescue their season.
Arsenal are currently seven points outside the top four and have yet to register a league win in 2013. Manager Arsene Wenger is being loudly prompted to spend big during the winter window. Failure to do so is sure to create an avalanche of pressure and criticism for him to step aside.
However, does any of that add credence to a Gunners bid for Jovetic? After all, this a player whom Fiorentina have fiercely guarded during the last few years. It's small wonder the Viola have been anxious to warn off potential suitors.
Jovetic is an ultra-talented attacker with the skill and versatility to both score and create goals. His technique is flawless and he possesses excellent instincts and speed of thought in and around the box. There's no doubt the creative Montenegro international would boost Arsenal's top four hopes.
Wenger has lacked a truly prolific creative forward since the retirement of the great Dennis Bergkamp in 2006. Cesc Fabregas filled the role for a while as the Gunners most advanced midfielder, but Wenger's squad has struggled to manufacture chances following his move to FC Barcelona.
What's been missing is a natural link player between the midfield and forward lines. Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere are too often consigned to defensive duties and hunting for possession in deeper areas. What Wenger needs is a natural no.10 and Jovetic certainly fits the bill.
A £20 million bid would be the kind of show of intent many are demanding from Wenger this month. Jovetic would certainly answer a need and restore confidence in the Gunners top four credentials.
However, a bid of this kind would still rank as a major surprise from Wenger in the winter window. Yet if ever there was a time for bold action from the embattled Frenchman, it would be now.710126