Premier League • England

Arsenal ramp up stunning January bid to sign powerful 57-goal striker as Man Utd rejection is revealed

Arsenal are targeting Leipzig striker Benjamin Sesko

Arsenal are targeting Leipzig striker Benjamin Sesko

Arsenal are stepping up their pursuit for Benjamin Sesko are reportedly considering a big-money offer to lure the striker away from RB Leipzig in January and just a matter of months after signing for the Bundesliga club.

Despite spending the best part of £200m over the summer, including the club-record signing of Declan Rice, Arsenal are ready to further invest in their squad in the January transfer window. A 3-1 defeat to West Ham in the Carabao Cup served as a painful reminder that, despite their huge strides under Mikel Arteta, their squad still lacks quality cover beyond their first XI.

Indeed, with Arteta admitting that the performance fell below expectations, it is clear his squad still needs further investment. And while they are now only competing on three fronts this season, Arteta knows he needs stronger options if the Gunners are to win any silverware this season.

For many, Arsenal are perhaps the most vulnerable in attack. And with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah as his sole options, questions have been raised if the pair score often enough and are good enough to lead Arsenal to major trophies. In fact, Gary Neville has labelled both players ‘erratic’ and feels they will ultimately block Arsenal from winning the Premier League title unless they sign an upgrade.

As a result, the Gunners are being linked with a plethora of names ahead of the January window. To that end, the likes of Dusan Vlahovic of Juventus – who Arsenal made a strong push to sign in January 2022 – is among the names being linked.

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Arsenal step up hunt to sign Benjamin Sesko

However, the No 1 target appears to be England striker Ivan Toney with Brentford admitting the striker could depart with 18 months left on his deal, though with a huge new price tag being stuck on his head.

Indeed, with the Bees now reportedly looking for as much as £100m for Toney, that could price Arsenal out of the hunt and force the club to look elsewhere in their quest to bolster their strikeforce.

To that end, it was suggested earlier this week that RB Leipzig striker Sesko could be emerging as one such option.

The Slovenia striker only moved to the Bundesliga club over the summer from sister club RB Salzburg, and has already struck six times in 13 games for his new club.

However, it seems his stay at the Red Bull Arena could prove only a brief one amid claims Arsenal are readying an approach to sign him in January.

And with a modest £40m price tag on his head, it seems the powerfully-built 6ft 4in frontman could prove better value for money than Toney.

To that end, the Daily Mirror claims Arsenal are stepping up their interest in Sesko ahead of the January window. That officially opens for business in just 60 days – and it is little surprise to see clubs starting to formulate their plans for the winter window at this stage.

As a result, scouts from the north London side plan to watch the 21-year-old – who has 57 career goals from just 136 appearances – extensively over the next few weeks with Arsenal strongly considering a move for his services.

Man Utd failed to sign Slovenia striker

The Gunners, however, are far from the only side keen to land Sesko, with the player also having been linked with a move to AC Milan in recent times.

Indeed, his agent Elvis Basanovic has admitted that his client is well aware of interest in him from the Italian giants, with talks even being held over a prospective deal.

“I can confirm that I spoke with Milan in the past about Sesko when Maldini was there. However in that moment a transfer wasn’t possible, it was not the right time,” Basnovic said, via the Milan Eye. “You never know in the future, Milan is a big club. Sesko feels very good now at Leipzig where he continues to grow.”

The 24-times capped Slovenia striker has also been on Manchester United’s radar for some time too and he’s one player they continue to monitor ahead of a future deal.

However, the striker has already rejected them once and their prospects of signing him now appear bleaker than ever.

Explaining why he turned them down in 2022, Sesko admitted: “The thing is, I wasn’t really involved in these kinds of conversations. But I think it was better to come here [Leipzig].”

He added: “It was very important for me to go to a place that plays a similar style of football. I already knew what I had to do and didn’t have to go through a whole learning process again.”

Arteta, meanwhile, knows he would be in a strong position to attract Sesko what with Arsenal offering not only UCL football but also a possible title push.

The Gunners boss has, however, played down the prospect of adding another new striker in January, admitting recently: “We believe in the players that we have first of all,” the Spaniard stated. “Because we have the resources that we have secondly, and at the moment we feel we are covering that position.”

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