Everton have stolen a march on Arsenal in the race for French international strike star Loic Remy by lodging a formal transfer enquiry for the Queens Park Rangers forward with a view to an £8m summer deal, according to The Times.
Remy has no intention of making a loan move to Newcastle United permanent next season and is desperate to join a Champions League club, one advantage Arsenal do have over the Toffees if they decide to make reported interested in the forward concrete.
The 27-year-old was at the Emirates for Arsenal's last home match of the season to fuel speculation over a potential move to North London, but the Gunners now face a race against time to beat Everton to the versatile striker if indeed their interest goes beyond a watching brief.
Arsenal were definitely thin in attack when it mattered most this season, with Remy's Les Blues team-mate Oliver Giroud largely left to lead the line on his own for large portions of the campaign.
QPR plan to sell Remy whether they win next weekend's play-off final against Derby County and gain promotion back to the Premier League or not, but are powerless to gain a massive fee because of the forward's £8m release clause.
Everton view the former Marseille marksman as a cost-effective signing than shelling out £25m for their own loan star Romelu Lukaku, with Toffess boss Roberto Martinez impressed by a return of 14 Premier League goals this term.
Gunners chief Arsene Wenger is currently focused on Saturday's FA Cup final but will have to move fast soon after if he wants to close a deal for much-needed quality strike cover, with Everton first to strike in what could be on the close season's most fiercely contested transfer tussles, particularly with Tottenham Hotspur also watching his situation closely.