Arsenal ready to battle Chelsea for Ezequiel Lavezzi

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Arsenal are considering a bid to sign Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, reports Metro.

The Gunners are on the hunt for at least two established strikers this summer after releasing Park Chu-Young and Nicklas Bendtner. Not only that, but Arsene Wenger relied heavily on Olivier Giroud last season and knows more depth will be required if they are to challenge for the Premier League title.

Lavezzi, 29, is thought to be available for around £15 million as Laurent Blanc attempts to balance to books at Parc des Princes in order to help his team fall in line with Financial Fair Play.

Arsenal have expressed their interest in signing the 29-year-old after chief scout Steve Rowley sent back glowing reports of the forward following a previous scouting mission. Now Lavezzi is at the World Cup with Argentina, Wenger is hoping to catch one last glimpse of him before launching an official bid.

One potential fly in the ointment for Wenger is the fact that Chelsea have also been widely linked with a move for Lavezzi. Jose Mourinho is keen to make wholesale changes to his forward line and the dynamic style of the PSG marksman makes him a potentially valuable asset.

Mario Balotelli's agent to meet Wenger
Chelsea want Lavezzi talks

Chelsea have seemingly already sealed the signature of Diego Costa, but one more striker is sure to follow. PSG have already built a relationship with Stamford Bridge officials following their deal for David Luiz and Mourinho could use those connections to his advantage.

However, Arsenal have the financial capabilities of matching Chelsea thanks largely to FFP and partly due to lucrative sponsorship deals boosting Arsenal's balance sheet.

They would almost certainly be able to offer Lavezzi more first team football as well.

Other targets

Arsenal have been on the lookout for a number of strikers this summer including the likes of Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata. However, the most likely candidate to become a Gunner is Mario Balotelli.

AC Milan are hoping to cash in on the mercurial forward despite only signing him 18 months ago. Reports claim that Wenger is set to meet the player's agent out in Brazil on Saturday to discuss the viability of a transfer to north London.

Balotelli is likely to cost Arsenal around £25 million as AC Milan look to recoup all of their original investment when they signed him from Manchester City in January 2013.

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Ligue 1
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