Premier League • England

Arsenal transfer latest: Adam Hlozek turns back on Edu advances as striker agrees £19m move elsewhere

Adam Hlozek of Sparta Prague, attends the training session prior to first round UEFA Europa League match Sparta Praha vs Lille in Prague

Arsenal have seen efforts to secure the signing of Czech striker Adam Hlozek fall by the wayside amid claims he has agreed a move to a rival suitor.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will focus on strengthening his attacking options this summer. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departing in January, they will too likely lose Alexandre Lacazette, now a free agent, too. In addition, Eddie Nketiah is also out of contract and continues to be linked with moves to rival Premier League sides.

As such, Arteta has tasked Edu with bringing in at least one new striker this summer to plug their gaps.

A number of big names have been linked with Arsenal too. Alexander Isak, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Gabriel Jesus are among those reportedly on their shopping list.

Links have also grown for Napoli hot-shot Victor Osimhem. Indeed, reports this week claim the Gunners are willing to go to record levels to sign the Nigerian.

However, The Athletic reported earlier this week that Arsenal also had a more modest target in mind in Hlozek.

The Czech Republic striker finds himself in high demand after catching the eye over the past 12 months.

Adam Hlozek heading to Germany

Indeed, West Ham and even Liverpool are among those seemingly keen on the Sparta Prague star’s services.

But it was Arsenal who were seemingly making progress on apparent deal in recent weeks with technical director Edu reaching out to his representatives.

The Gunners, though, are seemingly too late in their efforts with SPORT1 reporting that Hlozek has agreed a £19m move to Bayer Leverkusen.

The Bundesliga side are reportedly well down the line with negotiations, leaving Arsenal to go back to the drawing board.

Arsenal needed forward thinking

It all means Arsenal’s search to sign a new striker continues.

The club spent most of January chasing Dusan Vlahovic, while they have drawn blanks so far with their summer recruitment.

Arsenal have known for months they were losing Lacazette and quite likely Nketiah, so really needed to be proactive ahead of the window.

Granted, they were waiting to see if they could secure Champions League qualification first, which will have affected their budget.

But as far as Hlozuk is concerned, that is a deal they could have made inroads on sooner.

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Instead, Gunners supporters now face a nervous wait to see who the club can bring in.

City striker Jesus remains their most obtainable target, but even doubts are emerging over him given Arsenal’s lack of Champions League football.

The striker has spoken out over his future and claims he has made it clear to City chiefs his wishes.