Premier League • England

Arteta in raptures as No 1 Arsenal target provides enticing response to stunning transfer rumours

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal

Mikel Arteta could sign a deadly striker for Arsenal

Mikel Arteta will be delighted, as Arsenal have been given encouragement over the huge potential signing of deadly striker Viktor Gyokeres.

The Swede put up some impressive numbers last term, registering 21 goals in 46 Championship games to help Coventry City reach the play-off final. However, the Sky Blues were unable to achieve a Premier League return as they lost on penalties to Luton Town.

Following that major disappointment, Gyokeres signalled his desire to leave Coventry and test himself out at a higher level. He subsequently joined Portuguese giants Sporting CP in a deal worth a reported €24million.

Gyokeres has reached fantastic new heights under Sporting boss Ruben Amorim. He has fired Sporting to the top of the Primeira Liga table with 22 goals in just 24 league appearances. Across all competitions, his record stands at 36 strikes from 39 games.

The 25-year-old has previously been named as a prime target for Chelsea, as they consider alternatives to Napoli centre-forward Victor Osimhen. But recent reports have stated that Arsenal are now the best-placed English club to snare him.

On Tuesday, it emerged that Arsenal have entered preliminary talks with Sporting to find out whether a deal can be struck.

DON’T MISS: Midfield star confirms ‘strong’ Arsenal, Liverpool interest but controversial transfer blocks path

Amid all the transfer speculation, Gyokeres has left Sporting to link up with the Sweden national team ahead of their friendlies against Portugal and Albania.

The attacker was asked by the Swedish press what he thinks about the reports linking him with Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as several other big clubs across Europe.

Viktor Gyokeres reacts to Arsenal interest

Rather than play down the rumours, Gyokeres gave Arsenal a boost by admitting it is ‘fun’ to emerge as one of their targets. He added that ‘we’ll see this summer’, which suggests he is keeping his options firmly open.

“It’s a sign that I’ve performed well. But it’s not something I take too seriously, since it’s just speculation. But of course it’s fun,” he responded (via Fotboll Skanalen).

“We’ll see this summer. It’s not something I know about myself, what will happen. I enjoy Sporting extremely well and feel no stress about the summer coming quickly.”

Sporting look set to make a big profit when Gyokeres departs, as he is protected by a massive €100m (£85m) release clause. Although, Arsenal are trying to get a discount and sign him for £75m.

Coventry will be delighted if Gyokeres secures a big-money move to the Premier League at the end of the campaign. They included a sell-on clause worth 10-15 per cent of any profit Sporting make, which means they could receive a windfall of over £9m.

It must be noted that Arsenal have also been linked with several other centre-forwards in recent months, including Alexander Isak, Ivan Toney and Joshua Zirkzee. But as things stand, Gyokeres is the man Mikel Arteta wants to sign most.

Arteta will be ecstatic if Arsenal pull this deal off as Gyokeres is a lethal goalscorer who has the potential to get close to Erling Haaland’s stats.

Such a move will help Arsenal to put away all of the brilliant chances they have been creating, while also giving the Gunners a better chance of ending Manchester City’s dominance.

READ MORE: Michael Owen contradicts himself as he picks Premier League title winner and rules one of Liverpool, Arsenal, Man City OUT