Arsenal planning to hijack Liverpool's £50 million bid for Marco Reus
Arsenal are preparing to hijack Liverpool's move for the German World Cup winner, Marco Reus.
Reus has long been linked with a move away from his current club, Borussia Dortmund, and is thought to favour a move to England, having played in Germany for the entirety of his career.
Liverpool have been working hard to secure his signature, and reports in Italy suggested that they had made an enquiry into the player's availability, and even entered tentative negotiations with Reus.
However, Arsene Wenger has identified Reus as a player who can help fire Arsenal to the target next season. It is thought, however, that Wenger still wants to sign a "superstar" striker, as promised to him by Gunners director Lord Harris, and that the capture of Reus would not change this.
"We get a list of the players that Wenger wants," said Lord Harris earlier this week. "On the list is a centre forward, but I'm not going to tell you who he is. I think he wants to come."
Reus, who has four years left on his contract at the Westfalenstadion, would likely cost Arsenal around £50 million. This would leave Wenger a figure in the region of £150 million still to spend on an out and out striker.
If the signing of Reus goes ahead, it would make him Arsenal's most expensive ever signing (at least for the time being), costing the club £8 million more than they paid for fellow German, Mesut Ozil.
Ozil and Reus are in fact very good friends, with Reus claiming only last year that Ozil has the required quality to compete with Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d'Or. The prospect of playing alongside his international team mate in London no doubt appeals to the 26 year old, who has played for Dortmund since 2012.
Liverpool will be left reeling if Reus snubs them for their London rivals.
Brendan Rodgers is thought to have identified Benteke and Reus as the players to elevate Liverpool to the top of the Premier League, and he will be furious if Reus not only snubs them, but strengthens their rivals, too.
Despite interest from Arsene Wenger, Alexandre Lacazette looks to be staying put at Lyon.
Reports in France have claimed Arsenal have scouted the player several times, and that Wenger saw the forward as a potential strike partner for the erratic Olivier Giroud.
Lacazette also effectively ruled out interest from Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, when he said he would only play for a club in the Champions League.
However, despite the Frenchman's openness to a move to the Emirates, the Lyon coach has claimed Lacazette is going nowhere.
"Of course some clubs are going to be attracted to the sort of player he is," Hubert Fournier told the French press.
"However, he is under contract at Lyon and with all of the different competitions we have this season with the Champions League and the domestic French cups, we obviously want to keep him at the club.
"I haven't got much to say. He has said he wants to stay with us."
And another striker looks to have been ruled off of Arsene Wenger's summer shopping list.
The Italian media are reporting that Gonzalo Higuain will not be sold by Napoli to Arsenal.
There are few players who fit the "superstar" striker description that Lord Harris spoke of this week, but Higuain is certainly a contender.
However, Sky Sport Italia have claimed that Napoli's president, Aurelio De Laurentii, met with the player's agent and assured him that the striker is central to the 'Napoli project'.
The 27 year old, who scored an impressive 107 times in 190 for his former club, Real Madrid, would command a fee in the region of £60 million.
And finally, Arsenal are open to the idea of signing Edin Dzeko from Manchester City, if other targets do not become available.
City have previously been distinctly cool on the idea of selling Dzeko to one of their direct rivals.
However, the club believe that Arsenal could be duped into paying over the odds for a player who has struggled to nail down a first team place at the Etihad, and they would be happy to sell the 29 year old for a small profit on the £27 million they paid for him in 2011.