Football

Arsenal to meet Mattia Destro over potential January transfer

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Arsenal will hold talks with Roma striker Mattia Destro over the feasibility of a surprise January switch to the Premier League later today, according to Italian sources cited by the Express.

Destro has been tracked by a string of English clubs after growing frustrated with life at the Stadio Olimpico, where there's essentially very little he can do to dethrone living Roma legend Francesco Totti as the lone central striker until he retires.

The 23-year-old is reaching a crossroads in his career and clearly needs to start more regularly for a leading European club, although it remains to be seen if that opportunity will truly come if he decides to join Arsenal.

Arsenal far from the only club interested

There's certainly competition for Destro's signature if Roma do decide to let the frustrated forward move on, with Chelsea, Liverpool and AC Milan all weighing up the merits of adding the Italian international to their strike options.

Arsenal are the first team to make their interest concrete though, if you believe Italian journalist Trancredi Palmeri. A favourite of the Twitter transfer rumour mill is adamant that Gunners representatives are booked for a meeting with Destro's agent, perhaps eyed as a replacement for recently departed loan duo Lukas Podolski and Yaya Sanogo.

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Gunners still need strength in depth

Arsenal looked flush for central striking options just three weeks ago, but Olivier Giroud was effectively the only recognised target man in their 18-man squad for yesterday's 2-0 win over Manchester City.

With Podolski and Sanogo gone plus Danny Welbeck out injured Destro could immediately challenge Giroud for his place, but would surely run into the same problem he's had at Roma and run the risk of being a regular bench warmer should he leave the Eternal City for North London.

Destro certainly represents one of the most interesting options mooted as a potential January transfer target for the Gunners, particularly as the priority is definitely to sign a centre-back before the window slams shut in a fortnight.

Gunners chiefs are currently exploring a number of options though and Wenger has been known to sign another exciting attacking option despite clear defensive deficiencies in the past, so don't be too surprised if this particular piece of speculation has some weight to it.

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Arsenal
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