Sunday 18 February 2018

Arsenal eye loan deal for Juventus striker

Mirko Vucinic of Juventus
Mirko Vucinic of Juventus


Arsenal want to persuade Juventus to let them have 30-year-old striker Mirko Vucinic on loan until the end of the season.

Arsenal are hoping to persuade Juventus to allow them to take striker Mirko Vucinic on loan until the end of the season to strengthen their pursuit of the Premier League title.

Arsène Wenger’s side stayed top of the table on Saturday as Santi Cazorla’s two goals gave them a 2-0 victory against Fulham at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger, though, is acutely aware that his striking options are limited. It is understood that Juventus are prepared to allow Vucinic to leave in this transfer window but only if they can agree a permanent deal for the 30-year-old Montenegrin forward. Juventus have quoted a fee of £8.2 million in talks with Arsenal chief transfer negotiator Dick Law. Arsenal would prefer not to agree a permanent deal but talks are ongoing.

Vucinic is keen to leave and would like to join Arsenal after the arrival of Carlos Tévez and Fernando Llorente, who have forged an impressive partnership at the Italian club. Tottenham Hotspur have also been linked with a loan move for Vucinic.

Wenger on Saturday night that he was not “especially interested” in Vucinic when asked whether Arsenal were planning to meet the player’s agent this weekend. “We are looking at potential possibilities for us to get somebody in.” On whether a meeting was planned, he said: “Some people have visual capacities that I don’t have.” He added: “We are not on any special case. I would love to announce you something special.”

Wenger is keen to strengthen his strike force with Arsenal overly reliant on Olivier Giroud, particularly now that injuries have ruled out Nicklas Bendtner in the short term and Theo Walcott for the rest of the season.

However, he would prefer to make a more permanent move for his main targets, which include Porto’s Jackson Martínez, in the summer and secure a loan deal for the rest of the campaign.

Porto are insistent that they will not allow Martínez to go in this window and Arsenal have been given a similar response from German club Schalke over their highly rated 20-year-old attacking midfielder Julian Draxler, who has a £37 million buy-out clause in his contract. Real Madrid have also resisted attempts from Arsenal to bring in Spain under-21 striker Álvaro Morata.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Andries Jonker, the assistant manager of German club Wolfsburg, is the favourite to succeed Liam Brady, who is stepping down as head of Arsenal’s youth academy.

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