Arsenal face going back to the drawing board in their quest to sign a new striker after reportedly receiving a firm rejection from Alvaro Morata.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is charging Edu with finding him at least one new forward this summer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s departure to Barcelona in January brought an end to his turbulent spell with Arsenal. And with Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette also likely to leave as free agents, a entirely new-look attack appears on the cards next season.
Clearly Arsenal are going to have to spend big if they want to add a prolific marksman to their set-up. But landing that man will be far from easy.
That was proven after a protracted chase for Dusan Vlahovic in January ultimately left the Gunners with eggs on their faces.
And ahead of the summer window, Arsenal are reportedly considering the likes of Darwin Nunez, Alexander Isak and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Deals for all three of them would set the Gunners back a minimum £60m apiece. TEAMtalk can also reveal that another target – Napoli’s Victor Osimhen – looks likely to stay put this summer.
That has left Arsenal perhaps reigning in their ambitions and instead looking elsewhere.
And reports earlier this week suggest they are closing in on the capture of Spain striker Morata.
Alvaro Morata has no plans to return to London
The 29-year-old is currently on loan at Juventus from Atletico Madrid. He has done moderately well for the Bianconeri this season, scoring 11 times in 40 appearances.
However, the capture of Vlahovic means Juve are unlikely to take up their £35m option to make his signing permanent.
With a return to Atletico on the cards, Diego Simeone’s side are seemingly looking elsewhere to find a buyer for the striker.
That reportedly alerted Arsenal, who were seemingly confident of having a £25m offer accepted.
However, La Stampa claims Morata has given the links short shrift by telling Arsenal a ‘firm no’ over the move.
The Italian publication claims the striker has no intention of returning to the Premier League. That’s after he failed to settle in London during an earlier spell with Chelsea.
And despite netting 24 goals in 74 appearances for the Blues, Alvaro Morata did not take to life in the English capital.
Arteta expecting busy summer at Arsenal
Despite the setback, Arteta remains confident that Arsenal will have a busy and successful summer window.
Asked earlier this month if he expects to be busy, Arteta had a firm response.
“I am expecting so, yes,” the Arsenal boss said.
“I think both competitions [the Champions League and Europa League] require a much larger squad. The amount of games you play is much bigger in both. So I don’t think [which you qualify for] makes a lot of difference or changes a lot.
“If you can financially afford it and we don’t have to do the turnaround in the squad that we’ve had to do.
“If you ask me what I want, it’s 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers. You have to come a long way in the aspects that you see on the pitch. It’s a lot of things that have to be put in place, and that takes time.”
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