Premier League • England

Expert confirms Arsenal pursuing unstoppable forward, but two factors make deal a ‘gamble’

Viktor Gyokeres, Arsenal target

Arsenal are interested in signing Sporting CP ace Viktor Gyokeres

An Arsenal insider has confirmed reports that Mikel Arteta is eyeing lethal striker Viktor Gyokeres, though he has two concerns about the potential big-money deal.

Sporting CP are rubbing their hands together as they look set to make a huge profit on Gyokeres in the summer. The Swede moved from Coventry City to Sporting for €24million last summer, with his value skyrocketing since then.

Gyokeres is currently one of the deadliest centre-forwards in Europe, having managed 36 goals and 14 assists in 39 appearances so far this term.

transfermarkt now value Gyokeres at €55m (£47m), while Sporting are protected by his massive €100m (£85m) release clause.

Chelsea are monitoring the 25-year-old’s situation, but it has recently been claimed that Arsenal are gunning to land him first.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that Arsenal sporting director Edu has held preliminary talks with Sporting chiefs about a summer deal. Edu is looking to get a slight discount on Gyokeres by capturing him for £75m.

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Arsenal expert Charles Watts has now weighed in on the speculation. The journalist has backed up reports claiming Gyokeres to be in Arsenal’s sights. However, the fact this is Gyokeres’ first season in a top league, plus his huge price tag, makes the transfer a risk.

“We know Arsenal are interested in signing a striker this summer, and one name we’ve seen linked a lot is Viktor Gyokeres, who has been a revelation since joining Sporting Lisbon from Coventry City last summer,” Watts said in his latest Daily Briefing column.

Arsenal target certain to get ‘big move’

“Gyokeres’ numbers this season certainly suggest he’s good enough for a big move and it will be a surprise if he doesn’t get one this summer, given what he has been doing for Sporting since his move last year.

“It’s no secret that Arsenal will be in the market to sign a top striker at the end of the season and Gyokeres will certainly be on their list of potential targets.

“Whether he is near the top of that list, however, I just don’t know at this stage. At 25, he’s the right sort of age, but this is his first season in a top league and with a release clause of £85m, it would be a bit of a gamble on a relatively inexperienced forward.

“That doesn’t mean it won’t happen and he’s certainly a player to keep an eye on when it comes to Arsenal, but I don’t know yet whether they will try and get a deal done.”

On Wednesday, Gyokeres encouraged the rumours surrounding his future by admitting it is ‘fun’ to be linked with major clubs such as Arsenal.

Should Arsenal decide against moving for the Sweden international, then there are several other options for Arteta and Edu. Brentford’s Ivan Toney is someone with bags of Premier League experience, and he will cost between £80-100m.

Joshua Zirkzee, who has been thriving at Bologna this season, is another to have been linked with the No 9 role at Arsenal. Bologna want somewhere between £50-69m before letting him leave.

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