Football

Arsenal increase efforts to sign Real Madrid forward

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Arsenal are preparing to increase their efforts to sign Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata following the news that Theo Walcott will not play again this season after suffering a serious knee injury.

Walcott was stretchered off during the weekend defeat of Tottenham and it was initially expected he would be sidelined for around four weeks. However, it was revealed on Monday that the winger will miss six months due to a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

According to the Daily Mail, this will now prompt Arsenal to formalise their interest in Morata as Arsene Wenger bids to reinforce his goalscoring options before the close of the January transfer window.

Nicklas Bendtner, who might have left this month, is also unavailable for the long-term due to an ankle injury and the acquisition of another attacking player would appear to be imperative for Wenger.

The Gunners are reported to be keen to sign Morata on a loan deal for the remainder of the season rather than move to acquire a more high-profile target in a significant transfer.

Real Madrid, however, are reported to have informed Arsenal that 21-year-old is not available either temporarily or on permanently, although the Premier League champions remain in contact with the Santiago Bernabeu club.

Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, claims the club will not be conducting any business in January, neither arrivals nor departures.

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