Arsenal move closer to Ivorian striker deal

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Arsenal are reportedly moving closer to a deal for Ivorian striker Lacina Traore.

The CFR Cluj striker has been on the Arsenal radar after Arsene Wenger admitted the Gunners would look to sign a forward in the January transfer window.

Injuries to Robin van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott have all taken their toll on the free-flowing side, forcing Andrey Arshavin to play as an out-an-out striker for a month of the season.

Bendtner and Walcott are both moving closer to full fitness, but have struggled to make the final leap into first team action after lengthy spells on the sidelines.

Traore, dubbed 'the new Adebayor' for his style of play, has scored six goals in 21 matches for the Romanian side. Hardly prolific, but Wenger is known to bring the best out of raw talent, and that is certainly something many scouts believe this 19-year-old has in abundance.

The Daily Mirror originally reported that the Gunners were interested, and now fresh reports in Europe place Arsenal at the front of a €4 million battle for the striker.

Cluj president Iuliu Muresan confirmed that Arsenal were interested in the striker, and had made initial contact over a possible move for the 6ft 8in striker.

"We have been in contact with Arsenal but have not received any concrete offer. Four million euros is the fee we are looking for."

Traore has confessed to a Premier League desire, and aknowledged that Arsene Wenger could be the manager to bring the best out of this Ivorian striker.

"I have a chance there because Arsene Wenger relies heavily on young players. It is sensational to hear Wenger is watching me."

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