Arsenal have opened talks with Dinamo Zagreb over a £6.4 million deal for defensive midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, reports The Mail.
The Croatian's agent has already confirmed that talks with the Gunners were scheduled for November, when the player is likely to travel to England to take on the USA in a friendly at Craven Cottage.
However, with interest from Inter Milan strengthening, Arsenal have been forced to open initial talks in an attempt to push through a deal sooner.
Brozovic has emerged has a top talent in the Croatian league, breaking into the senior national squad at 21-years-old. As a versatile central midfielder, capable of playing in an anchorman role, Arsene Wenger obviously sees the imposing figure as an answer to Arsenal's issues.
Arsenal's need for a defensive midfielder is well noted. William Carvalho, Sami Khedira and Morgan Schneiderlin have all been linked with a move to north London in the past, but it appears Wenger is looking for a cheaper alternative.
While Schneiderlin would cost around £20 million and Khedira would command sizeable wages, Dinamo Zagreb want a comparatively small £6.4 million for Brozovic. Inter Milan have already tabled an offer of £3.5 million, which was flatly rejected by the Croatian champions.
The youngster would prove a useful squad addition for Arsenal but will not appease fans still reeling from the team's failure to beat Hull City at the Emirates on Saturday.