Arsene Wenger looks to beat Real Madrid to an exciting January target

Arsenal are hoping to beat Manchester United and Real Madrid to the signature of Lucas Silva after becoming the first club to meet Cruzeiro's asking price for the Brazilian midfielder. Arsene Wenger is eager to lure the talented youngster to the Emirates Stadium, and has uncharacteristically agreed to pay €15m without any haggling. Silva has already made clear his preference would be to join Real Madrid, but with Carlo Ancelotti struggling to justify paying so much for a relatively unproven talent, it could pave way for the Gunners to sign him unchallenged. Louis van Gaal has also been credited with an interest, but it's thought the Red Devils boss has plans to bring higher profile players to Old Trafford in the mid-season window. The 21-year-old has been likened to Kaka back in his homeland, and is being eyed by Wenger to play a deep-lying playmaker role, although this is not the defensive midfield acquisition that Arsenal fans are craving.