Arsene Wenger looks set to shift his interest for a striker once again as his move for Luis Suarez looks to weaken down. The Frenchman has seen two bids rejected for the Uruguayan with Liverpool adamant they will not sell for lower than £55 million.
Wenger’s primary target at the start of the season was Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain but the Gunners bulked at Madrid’s raised asking price of £34 million before Napoli swooped in to sign him last week.
Liverpool’s stubbornness not to sell has made Wenger think again in his pursuit of summer recruitment and has eyed up Erik Lamela as his next possible star. The Roma forward is hot property and at only 21 years old, is one of Europe’s most sought after youngsters. Arsenal are thought to be readying a bid for the attacker worth a club record £26 million.
Gervinho’s move to Roma could help open the negotiations between the two clubs as Wenger looks to lure the talented Argentine to the Emirates. With Roma failing to land a European spot for the upcoming season, Arsenal’s offer of Champions League football could be too great to turn down while an impressive bid from the Gunners could be too hard to refuse for Roma.
Lamela can play on the wing or as a central striker, which would make him a valuable asset to the Gunners as he could play anywhere in their favoured three-man attack. Arsenal’s main rivals in their pursuit are North London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur. Although the White Hart Lane outfit cannot offer the chance of Champions League football, the expected sale of Gareth Bale would generate a lot of money for the club, money they can offer to bring in top players.
Contract talks are already underway within Arsenal with a five-year contract rumoured to be worth £110,000-a-week set to be offered, should Roma accept a fee. Wenger’s current exploits in the transfer window have put the boss under pressure to bing in a marquee signing having lost out on Higuain and with hope fading on Suarez, he hopes Lamela will be the man to lead his side to glory once again next season.