Emirates club want promising midfielder.
Arsenal are in negotiations to buy Velez Sarsfield midfielder Ricardo Alvarez despite having a £9million bid rejected last month.
The 23-year-old was spotted by Gunners scout Sandro Orlandelli three years ago and he has been tracking Alvarez’s progress ever since.
Arsenal executive Richard Law held talks with Velez president Fernando Raffaini in Argentina but was unwilling to pay the £11million the South American side wanted.
It now appears the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is ready to pay the price as doubts continue to persist over captain Cesc Fabregas’ long-term future at the club.
Barcelona had a £30million bid for the Spaniard rejected by the North London club this week but they are expected to come back with another offer.
Alvarez is 6ft 2in, left-footed, and can play across the midfield. Arsenal are in pole position but face competition from Inter Milan, Malaga, Sevilla, Roma and Schalke.
The move would represent a significant coup for Wenger as the Argentine has been likened to Jack Rodwell after enjoying an impressive season in the Primera Division.
He holds an Italian passport and his arrival could signal the end of Tomas Rosicky’s career at the Emirates.