Arsenal are serious about signing Alvaro Morata but face a significant challenge if the Spanish striker is to arrive at the Emirates before the summer transfer window closes, reports the Evening Standard.
Arsene Wenger has been actively searching for an established striker to boost Arsenal's Premier League title chances and has already failed in his bid to sign Leicester's Jamie Vardy. Wenger agreed to meet the 29-year-old's £20m buy-out clause but he opted to sign a contract extension with the Foxes.
That failure has led him to Morata, who has long been linked with a move to the Gunners. Wenger has been a long-term admirer of the 23-year-old, originally discovering him while he was in Real Madrid's youth ranks.
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Morata finds himself in a state of flux after Real Madrid activated a buy-back clause worth £23m to re-sign him from Juventus. While Real president Florentino Perez is an admirer of Morata, the chance to make a quick profit appears to be the more enticing option.
After a fine Euro 2016 campaign in which Morata scored three goals, Real Madrid believe they are capable of generating £57m from his sale. Arsenal are saying otherwise.
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They have told Real Madrid that they are interested in signing Morata this summer but only if they agree to lower their asking price. The price would come within a whisker of breaking the British transfer record and would obliterate the £42.4m Arsenal paid for Mesut Ozil in 2013.
Considering Morata has never scored more than ten league goals in a single campaign, it is a price that Wenger is not willing to pay. Chelsea are also interested but are also unwilling to meet such a high price.
That is why Wenger has already highlighted a potential alternative in Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette. Reports on Tuesday suggested that Wenger had already held talks with Lacazette's agent to gauge his interest in joining the Gunners. Perhaps he is learning his lessons following the infamous Vardy snubbing.
Having buried 48 goals in Ligue 1 over the last two seasons, the 25-year-old has more pedigree when compared to Morata. but he too will cost a staggering amount. Lyon have set an asking price of £38m, which Arsenal are reluctant to pay.
It is also believed Arsenal have an interest in Everton striker Romelu Lukaku who has done his best to agitate a move away from Goodison Park this summer. The 23-year-old scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season and assisted a further six.
Once again, there is a heavy price to be paid with the Toffee's demanding a reported £65m.
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