Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Japanese striker Takuma Asano with the club hoping to conclude a deal in the coming days.
According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners have moved quickly to sign the highly-rated 21-year-old, who won the J-League's Young Player of the Season award after impressing for Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Although considered one of Japan's brightest prospect and a four-time senior international, Asano will almost certainly be loaned to a club in Europe next season as his application for a work permit is likely to be rejected. He will, however, join up with the senior team in pre-season.
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After confirming a bid from Arsenal had been received, Asano admitted that the prospect of going out on loan did not faze him.
When asked about Arsenal's offer, Asano told journalist reporters: “I was a little stunned. But I feel like I have the confidence to succeed wherever I go. And if I go, I do have an idea of what it would be like. If I am loaned elsewhere, my take on it is that I give it 100 percent.”
So Asano is certainly not the immediate answer for Arsenal and is considered to be a potentially world-class player. He has scored 25 goals in 91 appearances since making his debut three years ago and those who have seen him play report that he is absolutely rapid.
However, Arsenal are on the lookout for a striker who can add something to their squad immediately and have already failed in their bid to sign Jamie Vardy from Leicester. Wenger has been considering alternative targets since learning of that surprise rejection.
Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon has been linked in recent days but it is believed the club's £45million asking price is putting Wenger off. Lacazette did not make it into France's Euro 2016 squad despite scoring 21 goals in Ligue 1 last season with Didier Deschamps preferring Kingsley Coman and Andre-Pierre Gignac.
The Gunners have inevitably been linked with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema but it is believed the Frenchman will only be able to leave the Bernabeu if they successful poach Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich.
Gonzalo Higuain of Napoli is another high-class target but he is expected to commit himself to the Serie A outfit by signing a new contract in the near future.
Alvaro Morata, also of Real Madrid, is expected to be sold this summer and has already hinted that he is interested in testing himself in the Premier League. However, once again a reported price tag of £60m is proving prohibitive.
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