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Exclusive: Arsenal Set To Rival Juventus For Italian International Striker With January Bid

Young forward has been lighting up Serie A so far this season…

Arsenal are hoping to add another striker to their squad in January, and are keeping tabs on Sassuolo’s Italian international striker Simone Zaza, who scored his first goal for his country last week.

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Zaza initially joined Sassuolo from Juventus in 2013, with the minnows buying half of the player’s registration rights, before signing him outright this summer. He hit nine goals last season, and also netted on his first appearance of the current campaign.

According to Goal.com, the 23-year-old is the talk of Italy following his international exploits – having proved that he is a striker who has all the qualities to become one of the best.

Juventus installed a €15 million buyback clause in the player’s contract which comes into effect at the end of the current season, but CaughtOffside understands that Arsenal will attempt to steal a march on the Serie A giants with a January offer.

Their plight is helped by the fact that Sassuolo are not keen on selling one of their prize assets back to a domestic rival, and would prefer to encourage a bidding war and accept the highest offer for the forward instead.

The spiky haired youngster was preferred to Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli in the most recent Italy squad, and rewarded his manager’s faith with a goal against Norway during their opening Euro 2016 qualifier.

Arsenal are still short on striking options, despite signing Danny Welbeck from Manchester United on transfer deadline day earlier this month. Olivier Giroud’s injury will keep him out until at least the turn of the year, and it will take time to nurse the Frenchman back to full fitness.

Meanwhile, young centre forward Yaya Sanogo continues to struggle in a Gunners shirt, and is yet to net a competitive goal for the club. Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell look little more than fringe players, while Alexis Sanchez proved against Manchester City that he suits a slightly deeper role.

Arsene Wenger’s number one concern in the January transfer window will be a defender, having failed to replace the departed Thomas Vermaelen during the summer. But the French boss will have money to spend, and could jump at the chance to sign another exciting young forward player.

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