Gunners thought they would be the only side competing for the Bosnian.
Serie A giants Inter Milan are hoping to steal a march on Premier League leaders Arsenal in the race to land out-of-favour Manchester City front man Edin Dzeko when the winter transfer window opens again for business in the new year, according to reports in the Daily Mirror.
It is understood that the north London club have made the prolific Bosnia international their first-choice striking target of the turn of the year, with Gunners head coach Arsene Wenger known to be greatly concerned at present about the workload being undertaken by French forward Olivier Giroud so far in this campaign.
Giroud is Arsenal’s only fit out-and-out centre forward, meaning that Wenger has been on the lookout of late for back-up attackers, with many expecting the Frenchman to try and sign coveted Real Madrid marksman Karim Benzema in January.
However, it is believed that los Blancos have no intention whatsoever of allowing their France international to depart the Santiago Bernabeu midway through the campaign, forcing Wenger to switch his focus towards Dzeko instead.
But now even those plans appear in tatters following the news that new Inter owner Erick Thohir is himself keen to bring the 27-year-old Bosnian to San Siro next year.