According to reports from the Metro, Arsenal have identified Premier League stars Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins as potential targets to replace outgoing striker Alexandre Lacazette.
French forward Lacazette has scored 67 goals in 174 appearances for the Gunners, helping Mikel Arteta’s side win the FA cup in 2020 and reach the Europa League final under Unai Emery.
The 30-year-old was fairly influential last season but is yet to start a Premier League match this term, with reports claiming Arteta is now ready to sanction his departure.
Lacazette is in the final year of his contract at the Emirates and has not been offered a new deal by the club, who are now looking at options to replace him.
The Sun say Arsenal have identified Everton’s Calvert-Lewin and Aston Villa’s Watkins as targets to replace Lacazette, with both players featuring for England over the past 18 months.
Calvert-Lewin, 24, enjoyed a breakthrough season at Goodison Park last term, scoring 21 goals in all competitions.
Watkins, meanwhile, thrived in the Championship with Brentford before moving to Villa last year and netting 16 goals during the 2020-21 campaign.
Arsenal may agree to let Lacazette leave the club in January, but Arteta will only sanction his exit if the Gunners are able to secure his replacement.
The north London club spent almost £150m on new signings over the summer but are ready to back Arteta further this winter, although the preference will be to add to their transfer kitty by selling first.
Arteta is looking for a young goalscorer with Premier League experience to fit into his squad at the Emirates and reportedly views Calvert-Lewin and Watkins as good fits.
Both Everton and Aston Villa are reluctant to lose key members of their squads but could be tempted to do business with Arsenal if they are willing to spend big.
Following a dismal start to the season, Arsenal have improved in recent weeks, winning three successive matches before drawing to Brighton at the weekend.
‘In the first half we struggled to dominate the game,’ Arteta said after Saturday’s goalless draw at the Amex Stadium.
‘They proposed a really aggressive game, we struggled to break the press and that caused us problems because there was a lot of transitions and one-on-one situations that we could not deal with.
‘We improved a little bit in the second half and had a couple of open situations that could have been big chances.
‘We managed to get a point today because we defended the last 15-20 metres of the pitch really well. I think for the rest there is a lot of things we have to get better at.’