Arsenal are ready to rival Tottenham Hotspur for the services of Enner Valencia, after well respected journalist Julio Maldonado claimed Arsene Wenger has "serious interest" in signing the Ecuador striker.
Sport Witness reports how Maldonado - who works for Canal Plus, Cadena Ser, and AS amongst other reputable news outlets - is led to believe that the 25-year-old's impressive form at the World Cup could earn him a transfer to the Premier League this summer.
The Pachuca star netted three goals at the finals in Brazil, and was easily Reinaldo Rueda's star performer during Ecuador's three Group E games. However, his efforts were ultimately in vain as the South Americans failed to progress to the knockout stage.
Valencia has attracted admiring glances from a number of potential suitors, with Sky Sports crediting Newcastle, Everton and Spurs with an interest in acquiring him ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
Mauricio Pochettino is believed to be on the lookout for striker reinforcements at White Hart Lane, following the disappointing debut campaign that Roberto Soldado had in England last term.
Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor could both still be a part of Tottenham's first-team plans moving forward, but don't be surprised to see the recently appointed manager add a new face of his own this summer.
However, Pochettino could miss out on a move for Valencia if Arsenal's alleged interest is to be believed. Wenger is also known to be in the market for a player to provide competition for Olivier Giroud at the Emirates Stadium, as the Gunners boss aims to ease the burden on his French talisman.
Valencia only signed for Pachuca at the start of 2014, where he netted 18 goals in 23 appearances for the Mexican outfit before setting off on international duty at the end of May.
"Enner Valencia's value increases every day," exclaimed the club's vice-president Andres Fassi in an interview with ESPN. "We don't know if he will stay, it will be hard given the offers we have received.
"The options that a great player at this level gets are to be taken into account. But for now he has to keep doing things right. No doubt it would hurt us to let Enner Valencia go, but we are realistic about his quality."
How much would he cost?
The South American talent wouldn't command an astronomical fee, but in light of his fine form - and with interest increasing by the day - you can guarantee that Pachuca will look to extract as much money as possible.
A high-profile move to Europe seemingly beckons for Valencia, but it remains to be seen which Premier League club will take a punt on him and pay Pachuca what they want this summer.
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