ARSENAL want to use Lucas Torreira as part of a swap deal for Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic but don’t expect to make any major signings this month.
Serbian international Vlahovic, 21, has been identified as a potential long-term Emirates replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
And the Gunners are hoping that Torreira’s successful loan spell with the Serie A club can help swing a deal their way.
Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano is keen to keep the Uruguayan midfielder who has emerged as a key player for his team this season.
Arsenal are prepared to let them have Torreira for around £12.5million – or as part of a deal for £45million-rated Vlahovic.
But Vlahovic, who has already scored 23 goals for club and country this season, is not convinced about a move to the Emirates and is prepared to wait for other offers from England, Spain and Germany.
Mikel Arteta is stepping up his search for a young target man to lead his attack but after spending £148million in the summer is prepared to wait until the summer to make his move.
Lacazette is out of contract at the end of the season and is set to leave as a free agent.
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And Aubameyang is out of favour following a disciplinary row which led to him being stripped of the captaincy and ordered to train on his own last month.
Now the veteran striker is set to miss Gabon’s opening two games of the Africa Cup of Nations after contracting Covid this week.
Yet Arsenal will only let him leave during the current transfer window if they can sign a replacement striker.
And Aubameyang’s £250,000-a-week basic wage and the fact that he is approaching his 33rd birthday means Arsenal have not been overwhelmed by offers.
Now he is expected to return to the Emirates at the end of the month and be reintegrated into the squad to help the Gunners secure a top four finish and Champions League qualification.
But the £56million superstar is no longer regarded as the main man by Arteta.
And with Eddie Nketiah also set to leave as a free agent in the summer, signing another striker has become Arsenal’s top priority.
Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin remains a leading target and, unlike Vlahovic, would not need persuading to move to the Emirates.
But the struggling Merseysiders are likely to demand around £60million for their England international who has missed most of the season with injury.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles will complete his season-long loan move to Roma today and talks are continuing with Middlesbrough about a loan for young striker Folarin Balogun.
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