Arsenal look set to rival Liverpool for the services of Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who insists that he will speak to current club Schalke before considering any possibility of a summer transfer.
The Metro reports that the north London outfit have joined the race to sign the Holland international, who has just 12 months remaining on his current contract at the Veltins-Arena.
Huntelaar has previously declared an interest in moving to the Premier League, and at the age of 30 will be keen to go somewhere with a realistic chance of challenging for trophies.
Fresh off the back of last season's FA Cup final success, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will hope to convince the Bundesliga star that the Emirates is the right place for him, but will face competition for his signature from Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.
The Northern Irishman looks set to lose Luis Suarez this summer, and is already considering possible reinforcements to his forward line next season.
Liverpool have already completed the capture of England striker Rickie Lambert from Southampton, but will want to add a world-class striker with European pedigree to fill the potential void left by Suarez.
Huntelaar aware of interest
In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Huntelaar acknowledged recent reports linking him with a move to Merseyside, but out of respect to his existing employers will speak with manager Jens Keller ahead of making any decision about his future.
"Because of the rumours about Liverpool, it is probably fair to first speak with Schalke [first]," he explained. "The negotiations with the club have been running for some time.
"In the holidays I do not want anyone bothering me. After the holidays I speak further with Schalke. This is soon enough."
World Cup focus...
Huntelaar is currently out in Brazil on World Cup duty with the Netherlands, who are busy preparing for their quarter-final clash with Costa Rica on Saturday.
The tournament has meant the Dutchman has had little time to consider his options since the end of the 2013/14 campaign with Schalke, and will want to take some time before entering any negotiations with his suitors.
With his focus fully on performing to the best of his ability for Louis van Gaal's side, Huntelaar - who scored the decisive injury-time penalty to secure a 2-1 victory over Mexico in the last 16 - will be hoping for more playing time in the rest of the knockout phase as Holland look to go one better than 2010 and win the World Cup on South American soil this summer.
"I am now speaking with my manager and above the interests of the club," he concluded in the Bild interview. "I concentrate on the World Cup."
In addition to Huntelaar, Arsenal have also been linked with a number of alternative striker signings, with Mario Balotelli and Loic Remy both tipped to move to the Emirates as Wenger continues his search for a player to ease the goalscoring burden on Olivier Giroud next season.
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