Premier League • England

Arsenal in internal talks to sign towering striker in January after firming up three-man shortlist

Dusan Vlahovic, Benjamin Sesko and Marcos Leonardo

Arsenal targets Dusan Vlahovic, Benjamin Sesko and Marcos Leonardo

Arsenal have been holding talks internally about the idea of bidding for Benjamin Sesko from RB Leipzig in the January transfer window, according to reports.

Finding a more reliable centre-forward is one of Arsenal’s priorities for 2024 as they aim to complete a title-challenging squad. Currently, they have Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah at their disposal, but they might be in the market for an upgrade.

With that in mind, Sesko has been mentioned as an option in recent weeks. An update from FootballTransfers has revealed that Arsenal have been discussing the Slovenia international while making their shortlist.

They are yet to open talks with his current employers at RB Leipzig, but have mentioned his merits while coming up with ideas of who to target.

It was only this summer that Sesko signed for RB Leipzig in a pre-arranged transfer from sister club Red Bull Salzburg, but the 6 ft 4 target man has only started three German Bundesliga matches so far.

Arsenal could take advantage of his situation by bidding for him in January, though it is not clear how much that might cost – nor if RB Leipzig would be willing to part ways with him this soon into a contract that is meant to last until 2028.

Besides, Sesko is not the only contender to bolster the Arsenal attack. The report also mentions Marcos Leonardo from Santos and Dusan Vlahovic from Juventus as players under consideration.

However, TEAMtalk sources have revealed that Vlahovic is not a priority for the clubs that have been looking at him and may have to wait for his Serie A exit.

Whether or not Sesko – who has six goals from 17 appearances for RB Leipzig so far – is higher up the shortlist for Arsenal remains unclear. The version of events presented by FootballTransfers does not yet indicate a preferred target, but does suggest that Vlahovic and Leonardo could join at the same time if deals can be agreed.

It is not clear if Sesko could be one of multiple striker signings, and in his case who the other would be.

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Arsenal looking for long-term answer

None of the three players mentioned in the report have played in the Premier League before, but Vlahovic and Sesko do have Champions League experience.

Sesko, like Leonardo, is 20 years old, while Vlahovic is 23. Any of them could become a long-term solution for Arsenal if they prove to be good enough.

Mikel Arteta’s side are currently top of the Premier League table after 13 games, but even eighth-placed Brighton have a better goals-scored tally so far.

There is no Arsenal player in the top 10 leading scorers in the English top flight yet for the current campaign, with Nketiah their leading marksman in the competition on five goals.

Last season, Arsenal finished as runners up to Manchester City, but none of their players reached the top five in terms of the Premier League’s highest scorers.

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