Arsenal to move for Juventus forward Fernando Llorente
Arsenal’s failure to land a top-class forward in the summer transfer window hasn’t hindered them during their fine start to the season, but Arsene Wenger is now ready to increase competition for places upfront.
The form of Olivier Giroud during the beginning to the campaign has been one of the main reasons that the Gunners are top of the Premier League table and cut to 9/2 to win the title.
But after missing out on Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in the summer, Wenger is now reportedly targeting a loan move for the Juventus and Spain forward Fernando Llorente, who could be receptive to a short-term switch in January.
The 28-year-old has struggled since his summer switch to Serie A from Athletic Bilbao, scoring just once in five appearances and reduced to the role of substitute in Juve’s last two games.
He has started just once alongside Juve’s other major summer forward addition Carlos Tevez, and the 22-times capped Spaniard is likely to be keen to secure more regular first-team football in a World Cup year.
A temporary switch to the Emirates – where he would link up with fellow countrymen Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Nacho Monreal – could suit all parties then, and give the Gunners, who are 13/8 to finish in the top two, some extra firepower in the second half of the season.
Wenger is also believed to be keen to secure some defensive cover in January too, with West Ham’s Winston Reid on his wanted list.
The New Zealander has been a quietly effective presence at the heart of the Hammers’ defence since his move from Danish club FC Midtylland in 2010, and he scored the opening goal in the shock 3-0 win at Tottenham last weekend.
With Thomas Vermaelen experiencing both fitness and form concerns, the 25-year-old could be the answer to Wenger’s search for a defender to provide competition to established first choice pair Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
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