Arsenal hope to sign Jonathan Calleri in January

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Arsenal look set to beat Liverpool to the January signing of highly-rated Boca Juniors striker Jonathan Calleri after impressing Premier League scouts in his native Argentina.

The Daily Star reports that the 21-year-old talent has been identified by Arsene Wenger as a potential star of the future and is ready to firm up the Gunners' interest in acquiring his services in the mid-season window.

With six goals in his last ten appearances, Calleri could well have secured himself a high-profile transfer to the Emirates Stadium, providing the north London club can agree a fee with Boca chairman Daniel Angelici.

Manager Rodolfo Arruabarrena will be determined to keep Calleri at La Bombonera for the start of the new season, which kicks off on February 14 with a home game against Olimpo. However, the likelihood is that a significant Arsenal offer will force the South American's departure at the start of 2015.

Wenger is unlikely to put Calleri straight into his senior squad, even if Yaya Sanogo completes his anticipated loan move to Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux for the rest of the 2014/15 campaign.

His prospective arrival is being billed as a signing with an eye on the long-term future, which is part of the reason why Liverpool's alleged interest in Calleri appears to have cooled.

Brendan Rodgers is prioritising January signings that can go straight into his starting line-up at Anfield after the Reds disappointing start to the season, and Calleri lacks the experience to make an immediate impact on Merseyside.

Instead, Liverpool are working tirelessly on a deal to bring Belgium international Divock Origi back to England early, after initially allowing him to return to Lille on loan for the duration of the current campaign.

Other options

Failure to negotiate his release six months prematurely could see a surprise short-term deal for ex-England striker Jermain Defoe, who has flown back to the UK for talks following the end of the MLS season.

Earlier today BBC Sport reported that the 32-year-old will train with former club Tottenham Hotspur to maintain his fitness, ahead of a return to Toronto in time for the start of the 2015/16 campaign.

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