Arsenal are reportedly leading the race to sign African striker Papiss Demba Cisse.

The 25-year-old Freiburg forward has taken the Bundesliga by storm since signing from Ligue 2 outfit Metz, with 10 goals in just 14 appearances so far this season. This form is thought to have alerted some of Europe's top managers, with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger one of those taking an interest.

Fulham boss Mark Hughes is another to have been linked with the player, but a source close to Cisse has confirmed that the player is only interested in a move to a more established Premier League club, opening the door for Arsenal.

The Gunners are thought to have previously expressed an interest in the player, and are now believed to be favourites with regards to a possible summer move.

"There's no mistaking he's very happy at Freiburg and he's under contract until 2014, but Arsenal certainly interests him," the source told

A Senegalese international, Cisse began his career at Douanes before moving to Metz in 2005. He spent loan spells at Cherbourg and Chateauroux during almost five years with the French club before moving to Germany in December last year.

The player has set his sights on a big future, with the Champions League high on Cisse's agenda. A move to Arsenal would see him fulfill the ambition of playing in Europe's top club competition.

Wenger is believed to have money to spend in the New Year after bumper profits were announced at the Emirates a few months ago, and the Arsenal boss has been linked with a handful of strikers as the transfer window draws closer.

Cisse, who is described as 'worthy of Champions League football' by the source, is thought to be one of the players being watched by Arsenal, who could make a 12 million move at the end of the season.

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