Arsenal are weighing up a club-record deal to sign Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, according to London Evening Standard.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has stepped up his search to find a centre-forward after Danny Welbeck was ruled out for nine months with a second serious knee injury.
Wenger has made conflicting statements on whether Olivier Giroud will lead Arsenal’s attack next season having insisted he would when asked directly in a BBC interview two days after claiming he was only interested in signing a top-class striker and not merely cover while Welbeck is sidelined.
Arsenal’s position is believed to be the latter and a number of targets are under consideration, including Morata.
Wenger has been a long-time admirer of the 23-year-old but any deal would be unusual given Real Madrid inserted a buy-back clause in his contract when selling him to the Italian giants in 2014.
That figure is believed to be €30million (£23.6m) and Real could then sell him on to Arsenal for an inflated fee. Reports in Italy this morning claim Arsenal have already submitted an offer to Real but Standard Sport understands that is not yet the case.
Morata signed a five-year contract extension with Juve in December and is open to staying at the club.
Juve are even said to be exploring a way of making a one-off payment to Real to remove the buy-out clause altogether.
However, Real can make far more cash by simply triggering the clause and then starting an auction given Paris St Germain, Manchester United and Leicester are among the interested parties.
Real are yet to name their price for Morata but it is likely that a deal would surpass the highest transfer fee Arsenal have ever paid, also to Real — £42.4m for Mesut Ozil in 2013.
Arsenal are keen to conduct their summer transfer business as early as possible with Borussia Monchengladbach confirming they have received an offer from them for midfielder Granit Xhaka.
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