Arsenal ‘will move’ for two strikers this month; midfield shortlist down to four

Everton pair Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison

Arsenal have two strikers in their sights after the Dusan Vlahovic trail went cold, and their pursuit of a midfielder this month has come down to four players, per a report.

The Gunners had identified Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic as their No 1 striker target this month. But despite lodging a giant £58m offer for, their hopes appear to have been dashed by Juventus. 

Many of Arsenal’s current options in the final third are facing uncertain futures. Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette are both out of contract in the summer. Lacazette could yet pen fresh terms, but handing out contracts to aging stars has not worked out well with Mesut Ozil or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in recent times.

Aubameyang too could leave. The Gabon hitman is being linked with a loan exit this month. Concrete interest has emerged from Saudi Arabia, but Aubameyang reportedly wishes to remain in Europe.

With so much uncertainty clouding Mikel Arteta’s forward ranks, it is no surprise to see the Daily Mail report Arsenal will push hard for a new addition this month.

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Citing the Athletic, they state Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak are in their crosshairs. In the article’s words, Arsenal ‘will make fresh moves’ for the pair in the hopes of landing one.

Prising Calvert-Lewin away from Goodison Park appears an almighty task on paper. Manager-less Everton have been sucked into a relegation scrap and losing their talisman could be a fatal blow to their survival hopes.

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Prior reports have suggested he would command around £60m in the market. The Daily Star recently stated he is the preferred choice over Alexander Isak, though the Swede appears far more gettable.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein detailed Arsenal’s interest in Isak, 22, earlier this week. He has long been on Arsenal’s radar, though was marginalised when Vlahovic became the centre of attention. Isak would reportedly command a €50m (£41.9m) fee,

Midfielder shortlist cut to four

Arsenal’s transfer aspirations don’t rest entirely in the final third. Widespread reports have put them in the frame to bolster their midfield ranks with a proven performer.

Juventus’ Arthur Melo has been linked. The Brazilian is wanted on a six-month loan deal, though Juventus would prefer a longer, 18-month spell.

News on that front has gone quiet in recent days, and the Mail somewhat surprisingly do not name Arthur on Arsenal’s new shortlist.

Arthur Melo during a cup between between Juventus and Sampdoria, January 2022

Instead, Premier League pair Douglas Luiz and Ruben Neves are named. RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams is next, with Lyon’s Bruno Guimaraes rounding out the list.

Sky Sports added their take on the chances of a Guimaraes deal. They stated the Arsenal ‘have not given up hope’ of signing the all-action midfielder this month.

Interest in Guimaraes dates back two years, and an agreement can be forged if the Gunners stump up around £25m.

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Dilemma awaits with Arsenal star ‘determined’ to leave

Meanwhile, an Arsenal player is reportedly ‘determined’ to achieve a transfer away from the Emirates, in a move which will likely cause Mikel Arteta problems.

According to Goal, who cite, goalkeeper Bernd Leno is ‘determined’ to move on this month.

He has the opportunity to join Newcastle, after holding ‘two rounds of talks’ with the Magpies. Two Spanish teams are also keeping tabs on Leno’s situation, as per journalist Florian Plettenberg. They remain unnamed at the moment.

Leno has little chance of replacing team-mate Aaron Ramsdale, who has been in exceptional form this campaign. Therefore, he wants to leave north London to get his career back on track.

But letting the German move on would put Arteta in a tricky situation. The only other shot-stopper on Arsenal’s first-team books is youngster Arthur Okonkwo, who is yet to make a senior appearance for the club.

Leno’s departure would force Arsenal into a rapid transfer before January 31, which could backfire.

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