Arsenal ‘line up’ two wildly different targets to replace forward nearing exit

Andrea Belotti Torino warm up TEAMtalk

Arsenal have identified two suitable replacements for a current forward whose future is increasingly looking like it will lay away from the Emirates.

Alexandre Lacazette is in the final year of his contract at Arsenal. The French forward, 30, appears destined to leave with taks over a new contract thus far failing to make a breakthrough. What’s more, a report in September indicated Lacazette has no desire to pen fresh terms anyway.

Lacazette will therefore leave as a free agent in the summer – unless a cut-price January sale is sanctioned first.

West Ham have been credited with interest, while AC Milan and Atletico Madrid are also believed to be in the mix. In any case, it’s looking increasingly likely Mikel Arteta will soon be in need of an addition to his forward line.

Now, per Caught Offside (citing Spanish outlet Fichajes), Arsenal have identified two suitable replacements.

Firstly Italy forward Andrea Belotti is reported to be on their radar. The 27-year-old Torino forward is also in the final year of his contract. As such, he would be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club in January.

Belotti operates primarily in a central role which would shunt Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out wide – something Arsenal were recently warned against doing.

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Alexandre Lacazette has reportedly been offered to AC Milan on a free transfer, with more news on Eddie Nketiah and on Arsenal's current goalkeeping situation.

The second target cited in the report is the surprising name of Eran Zahavi.

The Israel striker, 34, currently plies his trade in the Netherlands with PSV Eindhoven. Before that, Zahavi made his name when operating at close to a goal-per-game in Israel and then China.

Zahavi brought his goalscoring nous to Eindhoven in 2020 where he has since bagged 24 goals in 49 matches. He too has a contract that will expire in the summer of 2022. Though at 34, he would obviously represent a far more short-term option.

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Meanwhile, former Manchester United and England striker Andy Cole feels Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can no longer play the way he did as a youngster and needs to operate in his favoured position to be effective.

Now 32, the Gabon international has struggled to match the goalscoring output he achieved during his early Arsenal career.

“With Aubameyang, play him in his right position – he will score goals. But you can’t have one of your best players playing on the left, chasing back,” Cole the Kelly and Wrighty Show, via The Boot Room.

“You take away why you signed him. On Sunday, he played in his position. That was his best game for Arsenal for some time. He wants to do well.”

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