Arsenal join new race for Serie 'A' starlet

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has reportedly sent scouts to watch Catania striker Takayuki Morimoto.

The 21-year-old Japanese international is enjoying a fine season for the Serie A side, and it is claimed that Arsenal are considering a summer move for the youngster.

Heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in the past, Morimoto was first noted by scouts at Old Trafford following some fine displays in the 2003 Manchester United Premier Cup.

Rumours of the Red Devils preparing a January bid failed to materialise, and now the Gunners could steal a march on their arch-rivals with a move for the former Tokyo Verdy 1969 striker.

"I called my agent, who told me that he had not spoken with the English team," said Morimoto back in December.

After making his debut in the J League at just 15 years of age, Morimoto quickly showed promise and earned a one-year loan deal with the Rossazzurri in Italy.

Despite picking up a serious cruciate ligament injury during that 2006-07 campaign, Catania made the switch permanent the following year for an undisclosed fee.

The striker, who has huge market value for any Premier League club in the far east, took another season to adjust on return from injury but has since become a leading light at the Stadio Angelo Massimino.

The News of the World reports that Wenger sent scouts to watch Morimoto, with the Frenchman considering his second Japanese player acquisition during his time in north London. Previously, Junichi Inamoto failed to hold down a place for the then Highbury club.

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