Arsenal boss ready to smash transfer record to beat Man United in race to sign £80m forward
Arsenal have entered the race to sign one of Europe’s hottest properties in a move that could be the start of a new era at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have had a poor season this year, once again failing to launch a convincing Premier League title challenge and getting knocked out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage. They may miss out on the competition entirely next term as they find themselves six points outside the top four.
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Despite everything, they have still reached the FA Cup final and could win it for the third time in four years when they face Chelsea, who will likely be going for the domestic double at Wembley. There is a growing feeling that boss of 21 years, Arsene Wenger, should leave this summer.
The Frenchman has yet to announce whether he will sign a new contract beyond the end of the season. But whatever happens, Arsenal could be about to clinch a signing that will silence those who doubt the club’s ambition.
Torino striker Andrea Belotti has shot to the top this season, scoring 25 goals for a midtable side in Serie A. The 23-year-old is Italy’s big striker hope ahead of the 2018 World Cup next summer in Russia and could well be on the move. Chelsea and Manchester United are also keen and he is believed to have an £80million buyout clause in his contract and the Daily Express claims Arsenal are now in the hunt.
Wenger had previously tried to sign Belotti but was told that he wasn’t for sale, although it is believed that Torino officials are concerned about his departure.
According to the Express, the main target is Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, but failure to reach the Champions League would stop that deal dead in its tracks.
With Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both having a year to run on their contracts and no progress made on renewals as of yet, it is hoped that luring someone of Belotti’s ilk will convince the likes of them to stay and other stars to join at the end of the season.
Signing Belotti in itself would be a huge coup, but beating off competition from Manchester United and Chelsea could also be a huge statement of intent from Arsenal. Whether Wenger stays or not, they must compete next season.