Having been spurned by Jamie Vardy, Arsenal’s search for a goal-busting striker continues, and Arsene Wenger’s next target is believed to be Sporting Lisbon hotshot Islam Slimani.
After activating Vardy’s release clause at Premier League champions Leicester City, Wenger was made to wait for a fortnight, before hearing the news that the England international agreed a new deal with the Foxes and would not be moving to the capital.
Now the press are linking the Gunners with Slimani, a forward who actually boasts a better goal record last season than Vardy.
The 28-year-old fired home a stunning 27 goals in just 31 Primeira Liga appearances, in addition to six assists.
It was unquestionably the Algerian international’s finest campaign, and it’s thought Arsenal could sway Sporting’s hand with a bid between £20-25m.
At 6ft 2in, Slimani should be well suited to the English game’s physical nature, and the Gunners certainly lacked a player of his goal-scoring calibre last term.
Olivier Giroud netted 16 goals in the league, but a substantial barren spell during the early part of the calendar year hurt the north London outfit badly.
Not since Robin van Persie left them in 2012 have Arsenal had a player reach 20 goals in a league campaign.
A second place finish last term was the Gunners’ best result for 11 years, but the lack of a sustained title tilt again left the Arsenal faithful hoping for more.
With the new season still six weeks away, Wenger has plenty of time to find the right man, and it could be that Vardy’s rejection is a blessing in disguise.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.