Arsenal are reportedly resigning themselves to missing out on the signing of Dusan Vlahovic amid claims in Spain that Mikel Arteta is moving on to another target instead.
Vlahovic has been a top target for Arsenal for a number of weeks. They want to sign an elite centre-forward amid doubts over the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.
Thanks to his form for Fiorentina, Vlahovic has emerged as one of the outstanding young strikers in Europe. And with a contract expiring in 2023, the chances of a summer transfer are reasonable.
But that transfer now looks unlikely to be to Arsenal. Instead, Juventus seem to be leading the race for a forward also linked with Tottenham and Manchester City.
And despite Arsenal lodging a giant £58m offer for Vlahovic, the lack of dialogue from the striker’s camp suggests their hopes are over.
Rather than wait until the last to learn their fate, Mikel Arteta is pushing Edu to instead work on other targets.
Alternatives include Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton, Alexander Isak of Real Sociedad and Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic.
However, Spanish newspaper AS claims Arsenal are instead chasing a deal for Raul de Tomas.
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They claim the Espanyol striker is ‘to the liking’ of Gunners boss Arteta. And they state he feels De Tomas has the qualities suited to the Premier League.
At 27, the Madrid-born striker is coming to the peak of his powers. And, having scored 122 goals in 300 career appearances, certainly knows his way to goal.
They write that while an official offer is yet to be lodged, Espanyol are expecting Arsenal to come forward before the window shuts.
Arsenal preparing De Tomas move amid Dusan Vlahovic woe
The striker is a name familar to Premier League audiences too. Indeed, De Tomas – who has two caps for Spain – has also been linked with Leeds and West Ham in the past.
But it is Arsenal who look likely to come forward with a bid.
AS claims Arsenal have had scouts watching De Tomas for some weeks now in Cornella de Llobregat.
De Tomas has a £58.6m (€70m) exit clause in his contract at RCDE Stadium, though it’s likely they would sell for less.
And should an offer arrive in the region of £35m, it is likely to give Espanyol plenty to think about.
AS claims Espanyol will only consider a straight cash sale, with a potential loan deal not being considered.
Vicente Moreno’s side are currently 13th in LaLiga having won 27 points from 22 games.
They are nine points clear of the drop, but some six points adrift of the European places.
De Tomas has 12 goals and two assists from 22 appearances in all competitions this season.