Mikel Arteta identifies Real Madrid ace as possible target if Arsenal dealt blow

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has reportedly set his sights on Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic as a possible replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Speculation has been rife in recent weeks about the 30-year-old’s future with the Gunners as he edges closer to having just 12 months remaining on his current contract with the club.

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Aubameyang has bagged 61 goals and 13 assists in just 97 appearances for Arsenal, and so there is no denying just how important he is to the north London giants.

However, as noted by the Metro, the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid have been paired with an interest in the Gabon international and could try to take advantage of his contract situation.

It’s added that he’s been set a £60m asking price though, and so it remains to be seen if that’s enough to fend any interested parties off while contract talks continue.

As reported by AS though, Arteta is perhaps smartly planning for the worst-case scenario which would see Aubameyang leave Arsenal as if he doesn’t sign a new deal the Gunners may be well advised to sell him while they can for a decent fee rather than lose him for nothing next year.

With that in mind, the report above notes that Jovic has been identified as a top candidate to fill that potential void, despite the Serbian’s struggles in his first season at Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old has managed just two goals and two assists in 24 outings, although that has been with limited playing time and countless bit-part appearances off the bench late in games.

Given he scored 27 goals and provided seven assists in 48 games last season while with Eintracht Frankfurt, there is undoubtedly a top player there, and Arteta seemingly believes he could be an ideal option to lead the line for Arsenal if they are forced into an attacking reshuffle this summer.

That said, AS add that Real Madrid have no intention of selling Jovic just a year on from signing him, and so Arsenal perhaps have plenty of convincing to do if they are indeed in the market for a new striker.

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