Arsenal Look to Win Striker Chase With £22.6m Bid: Gunners In Desperate Race for Extra Firepower

Emirates Stadium side hopeful of capturing proven goal-scorer.

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Arsenal are reportedly ready to sanction a €28m (£22.6m) January bid for Athletic Bilbao forward Fernando Llorente, despite the fact that the Spanish international forward is out of contract in the summer and as such could be picked up on a free transfer.

Arsene Wenger is desperate to beat Italian giants Juventus to the signing of the 27 year old forward having seen his side put in a succession of toothless displays both domestically and also whilst on Champions League duty.

The Serie A title holders are said to be keen on the Pamplona born marksman but may wait until the summer in preference to shelling out large sums for Llorente as the likes of Mirko Vucinic, Alessandro Matri and Sebastian Giovinco are currently providing good service up front for the Turin side.

Arsenal slumped to a poor defeat at Norwich City and then failed to register a single shot on target during their home defeat to Schalke last night. The North London side have a threadbare attack and the decision to use Lukas Podolski and Gervinho in wide attacking roles leaves Wenger with just one effective senior striker and that in form of misfiring Frenchman Olivier Giroud who has scored just one goal for the Gunners since his summer move from Montpellier.

Llorente seems destinted to leave the San Mames side he has represented since the age of 11 and seemingly has no intention of signing a new contract and Athletic Bilbao’s hopes of keeping the 6ft 5in forward are not helped by the fact that the Basque side sits in 17th spot, just above the relegation zone.

Having seen Javi Martinez complete a big money move to Bayern Munich over the summer Llorente may well be ready to make a move away from Spain and could be tempted by a move to the English top tier.

Arsenal will hope that an offer of this magnitude will convince Bilbao president Josu Urrutia to sell another of the club’s prized assets.

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