Arsenal identify ideal Vlahovic alternative but already have second fall-back option

Ollie Watkins replacing Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Arsenal are ready to turn their attention to Dominic Calvert-Lewin if they miss out on Dusan Vlahovic – but he is not the only alternative being linked with the club.

Finding a new striker has become a priority issue for Arsenal. There are currently questions about the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah. It is not impossible that all three will have left by the summer.

Even now, they could do with adding further firepower. Therefore, they have been prioritising a deal for Fiorentina forward Vlahovic. However, convincing one of Europe’s most popular strikers to join them has not been easy.

Chances seemingly fading, Arsenal are now looking elsewhere as they draw up contingency plans. One report on Monday named Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak as one potential Arsenal target.

But others are emerging, with the Daily Star now reminding that Calvert-Lewin is of interest.

The England international has been linked with a move from Everton to the Emirates Stadium for a while. Now, such a transfer is “top of the agenda” for Arsenal in the summer.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates against Leeds, August 2021

Player exits are “likely” for Everton at the end of the season, although Calvert-Lewin is someone they will be eager to keep. He has been their top scorer in each of the past two seasons.

Arsenal have admired him for a long time though and could firm up their interest. In fact, the Star say he is above Isak on their wishlist.

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Mikel Arteta wants his side to spend big on a new frontman and Calvert-Lewin could be their man.

Arsenal have Calvert-Lewin backup plans

Although Calvert-Lewin himself is a second-choice target after Vlahovic, it seems Arsenal already have some ideas of who else to go for if Everton resist.

AS have meanwhile mentioned Raul De Tomas of Espanyol as one alternative option for the Gunners.

Raul de Tomas Espanyol

The Spanish source claims they scouted him recently and he has Arteta’s approval.

Understandably given their other ideas, Arsenal are yet to make an official offer for De Tomas. But he does seem to be someone they rate highly.

Protected by a €70m release clause by Espanyol, he has scored 12 goals so far in the 2021-22 edition of La Liga.

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Latest on Aubameyang future

Any moves for new strikers will come more into focus when Arsenal offload some of their present options.

Lacazette and Nketiah are both out of contract at the end of the season, whereas Aubameyang is someone they could be trying to sell.

The Gabon striker, 32, was stripped of the captaincy last month after reporting back from an authorised trip to France a day late. It was the latest in a succession of misdemeanours, with Arteta exiling Aubameyang from the first-team as a result.

The 32-year-old has not played the Arsenal since December 6. He travelled to Cameroon to take part in the AFCON with Gabon, but contracted Covid-19 before being sent home early.

Aubameyang is Arsenal’s top earner and has 18 months remaining on his current deal. The Gunners are open to moving him on if they can, though his age and salary means realistic interest is restricted to a handful of cash-rich clubs.

Interest from Saudi Arabia had emerged with a reported loan-to-buy offer lodged by Al Nassr. Aubameyang’s full wages would be paid by the Saudi side if agreed.

However, according to The Athletic, Aubameyang will scupper that proposed move.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang smiling

They state Aubameyang does not wish to relocate to Saudi Arabia while still believing he can cut it at elite level in Europe.

However, The Athletic declare PSG to be interested in acquiring the centre-forward on loan this month.

The prospect of moving to Paris would appeal more to Aubameyang. Though despite their vast wealth, they are reluctant to subsidise the entirety of his salary.

Alternatively, Juventus are a known admirer, while the Telegraph also put Barcelona, Sevilla, AC Milan and Marseille in the mix.

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