Carlos Bacca of Sevilla has emerged as a target for Arsenal as Arsene Wenger strives desperately to reinforce his strikeforce before the imminent transfer deadline.
It is reported by Goal.com that Arsenal are ‘poised’ to submit a formal offer for Bacca after ending interest in Loic Remy, who was signed by Chelsea on Sunday following the long expected departure of Fernando Torres.
Bacca negotiated a €35 million release fee in his contract upon moving to Sevilla from Club Brugge in the summer transfer window, but it has been claimed that he may be allowed to leave for less than half that fee.
The 27-year-old enjoyed a fruitful maiden season at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, scoring 21 times in all competitions as Sevilla won the Europa League, yet it would appear the Spanish club are prepared to listen to offers.
With Olivier Giroud out until he new year having suffered a fractured tibia, Arsenal have just one recognised centre forward in Yaya Sanago but, as demonstrated in the draw with Leicester, the young Frenchman is not up to the standard required.
Bacca would certainly represent a significant upgrade for the Gunners, who had been offered the opportunity to sign Radamel Falcao but decided the Monaco player, now headed to Manchester United, would be too expensive.
Just last Friday Wenger suggested he may not move to sign another striker given the options available to him, but the inability to break down the Leicester defence on Sunday may have prompted a change in tack.
Alexis Sanchez, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott could all play up front if required, but there is a clear need for a player who is used to operating through the middle on a regular basis rather than on the odd occasion.
It is an area that has required addressing for some time, but Wenger has stubbornly refused to recruit back-up for Giroud. This is a bi-yearly frustration for Arsenal fans, and the pessimism bred by Wenger in the transfer market in recent years would mean any signing would arrive as something of a surprise.
But perhaps on this occasion Wenger has been left with no choice, although he must work quickly if Arsenal are indeed to acquire a replacement before the deadline.