Arsenal are preparing to meet the release clause of Xherdan Shaqiri, believed to be in the region of £10 million, reports the Daily Star.
Bayern Munich have told the Swiss star that he is free to leave the Allianz Arena in the upcoming January transfer window so long as someone meets the price tag. Shaqiri himself has been keen to move on after a lack of first team opportunities under Pep Guardiola.
While Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are all believed to be interested, it is Arsenal who are ready to jump in front of the queue by meeting Bayern Munich's demands.
A special talent
A tricky winger is hardly a priority for Arsene Wenger, who has seen his defensive line decimated by a number of worrying injury problems. Arsenal have also been accused of lacking a physical presence in midfield.
However, the chance to sign someone as talented as Shaqiri, 22, will not come around too often and it seems Wenger is happy to take advantage of what could be a big oversight from Guardiola. Shaqiri had been labelled as a future world star before his move to Bavaria in 2012. Since then his development has stalled.
The arrival of Mario Gotze in 2013 has helped to marginalise him from the squad while Bayern Munich continue to be linked with his former team-mate Marco Reus. His arrivals would certainly spell the end of Shaqiri's involvement in the first team.
Arsenal's imminent offer will alert both Brendan Rodgers and Louis van Gaal, who have both been linked with a bid in recent weeks. Both are capable of matching Arsenal's offer and Shaqiri's decision could eventually come down to who offers the biggest wages.
The race is on
If that is the case, Manchester United's financial might may play a pivotal role in negotiations. However, Liverpool may be able to offer Shaqiri the most prominent place in the first team.
Competition at the Emirates appears fiercer than Anfield or Old Trafford where Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry, Joel Campbell and Lukas Podolski all jostle for a first team spot. The latter two are supposedly on their way out of north London, potentially making room for the Swiss star's arrival.
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