Arsenal are planning a summer move for Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, as Arsene Wenger tries to strengthen his forward line further.
Wenger has suggested he is unlikely to delve into the transfer market another time, having just bought Mohammed Elneny from FC Basel. While Arsenal could use a centre-forward signing for the second half of the season, considering only Olivier Giroud is the pure central striker available at the moment, Wenger pointed to the fact that Danny Welbeck's return should keep Arsenal locked in that position, at least until the end of the season.
"I would prefer to have the players back from injuries," Wenger said when asked if he plans to buy more players in the January transfer window. "Welbeck is two to three weeks away and I am confident I will not find a better player than Welbeck on the market."
Theo Walcott, Joel Campbell and Alexis Sanchez are also options for Wenger to use as a central striker, but none of them are traditional centre-forwards, even if Walcott has grown into that position this season.
While a big move in January looks unlikely – the Pierre Emerick Aubameyang kind – Arsenal could look at strengthening the striker position in the summer transfer window. One of those strengthening options will be Morata.
With Real Madrid handed a transfer ban for the next two transfer windows, the Spanish club will not be able to invoke their option of buying back the 23-year-old, leaving the path clear for Arsenal to make their move, according to The Sun.
Morata would have been available to Real Madrid for £26million at the end of this season, with Juventus, according to the report, happy to sell the forward, considering the Spaniard has failed to make too many appearances for the Italian champions this season.
While a striker at Arsenal will always be welcome, paying £26m for a player who has still not quite convinced will be a big risk. Morata scored some crucial goals for Juventus last season, en route to the Serie A title and the Champions League final, but to pay out as that kind of money will be seen as a risk.
However, with the transfer market inflated and availability of quality strikers scarce, maybe that £26m isn't so bad after all, even if Arsenal signing Morata in the summer remains unlikely.