Arsenal are poised to submit a formal bid for Valencia striker Paco Alcacer when the transfer window re-opens in January. Arsene Wenger is desperate to bring the Spain international to the Emirates Stadium, it has emerged.
This is according to the Metro, who claim that Arsenal have been following the forward’s progress for some time now.
Alcacer shining for Valencia and Spain
Alcacer, 21, hit the headlines this week after scoring on his first start for the Spanish national team - in a 5-1 Euro 2016 qualifying win over Macedonia, in Valencia - having made his international debut four days earlier against France.
The striker scored 14 goals in 37 matches for Valencia last season, following the departure of Roberto Soldado to Tottenham, and has already opened his account for the 2014/15 La Liga campaign.
Wenger wants more competition for Welbeck and Giroud
Clearly a striker with considerable talent and potential, Wenger is keen to sign the youngster to provide Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud with additional competition upfront.
Arsenal spent £16 million to bring Welbeck to the Emirates Stadium from Manchester United on the final day of the transfer window, and the England international will fill the void left by the injured Giroud, who is expected to be sidelined until January having undergone ankle surgery.
But if Welbeck suffers an injury, Wenger only has the inexperienced and raw Yaya Sanogo to call upon - although the veteran Gunners’ boss insists that Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott are both capable of playing in the centre-forward position, along with Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell.
Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid also keen
Arsenal, however, face stiff competition to sign Alcacer in January. It’s reported that fellow Premier League club Chelsea have also sends scouts to run the rule over the striker in recent weeks - and so too have Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.
If any of those three clubs step up their interest with a firm bid then Arsenal could miss out, although the north London outfit have pulled off several transfer coups in recent seasons, including the £42.4 million acquisition of Mesut Ozil and the £32 million signing of Alexis Sanchez.
Reports claim that Arsenal - or any other interested club - would need to spend in excess of £20 million to convince Valencia to sell their rising star.
Whether Arsenal end up meeting Valencia’s asking price could depend on the Gunners’ league position come January, and whether or not Welbeck has managed to make an impact at the Emirates Stadium.
The former United forward, who scored twice for England against Switzerland on Monday night, is poised to make his Arsenal debut against Manchester City this weekend.