Arsenal are poised to make an audacious £50 million bid to sign Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani after it emerged that Olivier Giroud could be out until 2015 with an ankle injury.
This is according to reports in France - and brought to our attention by the Express - which claim that Arsene Wenger is determined to sign the Uruguay international before the transfer window closes on Monday.
Arsenal rocked by Giroud injury blow
Arsenal have been rocked by the news that their first-choice striker Giroud, who sustained the injury against Everton on Saturday, could be out until the New Year. The France international has visited a specialist, but early reports suggest he will be sidelined for up to four months.
If these reports are accurate, Arsenal would be left with the raw and inexperienced Yaya Sanogo as their only other recognised centre-forward.
Wenger was keen to remind journalists in his latest press conference that Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell are capable of playing as the team’s most-advanced forward, while the veteran French coach has already stated several times this summer that Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott can also be deployed as out-and-out strikers.
However, this could merely be a smokescreen from Wenger to avoid the possibility of other interested clubs making a late move for Cavani, who has been linked with Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool - amongst a number of top clubs - this summer.
Cavani: One of world's best No. 9s
The 27-year-old is widely recognised as one of the world’s best number nines thanks to his exploits with Napoli and PSG, where he has scored 26 goals in 44 appearances since completing a €64 million transfer last summer.
Despite his impressive statistics, Cavani endured a frustration debut campaign at the Parc des Princes, having been shifted out to the right flank for much of the season in order to accommodate star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
PSG want Karim Benzema
Cavani has had assurances from PSG head coach Laurent Blanc that things will change this season, but there is speculation that the French champions are poised to launch a stunning bid to sign Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
In order to finance the deal, PSG - who have already fallen foul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations - would need to offload one of their key players, and it’s accepted that Cavani would generate the most cash.
The chances of PSG signing Benzema have been enhanced by the news that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is keen to spend the money acquired from the £60 million sale of Angel di Maria to Manchester United on AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao.
Benzema, despite his fearsome reputation, has only scored two goals in his last 16 appearances for Los Blancos - and Perez regards Falcao as a significant upgrade on the misfiring France international.