Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Table £10m Bid for Adrian Lopez

Hans WetzelFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2012

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 27: Adrian Lopez of Club Atletico de Madrid looks on during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Athletic Club, at Vicente Calderon Stadium on August 27, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images is reporting that Arsenal have bid £10 million for the services of Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez. Despite netting 19 times over the course of last season, including 11 in the capital team's run to the 2012 Europa League title, the Spain international has fallen down the pecking order, starting only six of the team's 17 La Liga matches this season and scoring twice.  

With Radamel Falcao in the form of his life, it is unlikely that Lopez will force his way back into contention for a starting spot, and Arsenal have long been an admirer of the Spaniard. The £14.7 million release clause stipulated in the forward's contract will not have been activated with Arsenal's current bid, but given his lack of playing time, the Gunners hope to secure him for less than that amount. 

While not exactly a prolific striker—he netted his 19 goals last season in 57 appearances—he showed signs of excellence by winning the Golden Boot in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 2011, netting five times as Spain scooped the title.

Whether the Gunners actually need another striker, especially when Newcastle's Demba Ba is currently on 13 goals in the Premier League, remains to be seen. The Senegalese striker's release clause is £7.5 million pounds, and he has now netted 29 times in a season-and-a-half of league football.

At 24 years of age, and with a pair of good knees, unlike Ba's, it could be a deft move by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to reinvigorate Lopez's career. It could also be a terrific trio of center forwards at Wenger's disposal if England international Theo Walcott were to sign a new contract and French international Olivier Giroud keeps earning game time.

With Marouane Chamakh edging toward a move to West Ham, Lopez would not have the biggest shoes to fill, and could take advantage of two established forwards ahead of him as he adapts to the rigors of the Premier League. 

What do you think? Is Lopez's potential enough to justify a £10 million bid, 25 percent more than it would take to secure proven league hit man Demba Ba? Have your say below.