Arsenal have contacted Manchester United in the last 24 hours to find out if Danny Welbeck is available and are now weighing up an offer for the England international forward, according to The Mirror.
Welbeck is valued at £16 million by United, who are reluctant to let a direct rival sign the promising forward despite Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal not viewing the 23-year-old as an important part of his first-team plans moving forward.
Gunners chief Arsene Wenger has been forced back into the transfer market at this late stage thanks to Olivier Giroud's suspected broken foot, which means all options including Welbeck, Loic Remy and a very expensive £20m season-long loan move for Radamel Falcao are currently being considered.
Welbeck on Arsenal shortlist
Wenger is hoping to take advantage of Van Gaal's desire to offload United stars he views as not fit for purpose, with the Red Devils desperate to offload a few players from their enormous wage bill before the transfer window slams shut.
Welbeck started in last night's Capital One Cup humiliation against the MK Dons but didn't make the cut in United's first two Premier League games, which means that with Robin van Persie back at full fitness starting opportunities at Old Trafford this season may be extremely limited.
Arsenal are yet to table a formal offer for the versatile striker but have made an enquiry to United and are now waiting to hear if Welbeck is for sale, with Everton and Tottenham Hotspur also both interested and ready to consider the possibility of a season-long loan switch.
Six days to get deal done
Wenger's last-ditch trolley dash is on hold for 24 hours as Arsenal prepare for tonight's crunch Champions League qualifier against Besiktas, but if the worst is confirmed and Giroud is ruled out until 2015 that will surely become his most urgent priority ahead of next Monday's deadline.
Arsenal fans would probably like Wenger to splash the cash on a world-class striker like Falcao, but he's only available on a season-long loan for a whopping £20m fee, a premium price the Gunners are surely unwilling to pay.
Welbeck and Remy are more affordable options with Premier League experience and potential perhaps not yet fully realised at the very highest level, but time is running out to get either deal over the line.