Arsenal have been alerted by the news that Roma are willing to sell Erik Lamela. The Argentinian scored 15 times for Roma last season and after serious speculation regarding his future, Roma have reluctantly started to negotiate.
It is believed the Serie A club are looking for a fee of at least £26 million, a fee that Arsenal can easily afford following their non-existent dealings in the transfer window so far. The Gunners face heavy competition from North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Andre Villas-Boas has identified Lamela as the ideal replacement should Gareth Bale complete a world record £100 million move to Real Madrid but sources close to Spurs suggest the club are readying a move regardless of whether Bale stays or goes.
The 21-year old is able to play on either wing or through the middle and has been likened the Bale, except for his physique. Arsene Wenger is a fan of versatile players and the Gunners frustrated summer has made the Frenchman even more determined to land his next targets and he won’t lose Lamela without a fight.
However, they will have to act fast at Tottenham are believed to have made their interest concrete by submitting a big money offer and the player has begun negotiations with the club.
Arsenal are in a better financial position, providing Bale isn’t sold, with a suspected £70 million plus sponsorship deals to spend and Wenger is yet to spend a penny with Yaya Sanogo the club’s only arrival on a free transfer. The Gunners lure of Champions League football should put them a step ahead of Tottenham too, but they must first match Tottenham’s offer for Lamela.