Arsenal are facing disappointment in their first transfer pursuit of the summer after Real Madrid launched a stunning bid for Antoine Griezmann, reports the Daily Star.
The Gunners are reportedly keen to sign the France international and offered Real Sociedad £18m whilst also forfeiting their £3.4m buy-back clause for Carlos Vela in the deal.
Griezmann was labelled as exactly what Arsenal need; a dynamic wide forward who brings plenty of goals to the table, but his goal scoring exploits have also alerted Real Madrid.
The La Liga giants are looking to build their next great team after sealing La Decima, and are willing to offer Real Sociedad cash plus Asier Illarramendi.
Illarramendi made his name at Real Sociedad before moving to the Bernabeu in a huge £34m deal last summer. However, the player has failed to impress Carlo Ancelotti and he is prepared to offload him at a massive loss in order to secure Griezmann, 23.
The deal could be too good for Real Sociedad to turn down as the Spanish midfielder still has a place in many hearts at the club.
It would mean Arsenal retain the right to buy back Vela, but the Mexican now represents a back-up option for Wenger, who had prioritised the acquisition of Griezmann.
Arsenal will have to sign more than one forward this summer in order to challenge for the Premier League title next season. Wenger was heavily reliant of Olivier Giroud last season and, since then, their options have only dwindled further.
Nicklas Bendtner and Park Chu-Young have both left the club, leaving Yaya Sanogo and Giroud has the only recognised strikers.
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