Arsenal have been linked with a January move for Standard Liege striker Michy Batshuayi as the striker continues to rack up goals in the Jupiler Pro League.
Batshuayi, 20, has 14 strikes to his name this season, having almost made a switch to the Premier League with Swansea in the summer, per Wales Online's Chris Wathan.
However, the Mirror's John Cross is now reporting major interest from the Gunners as they seek to bolster their attacking options.
His report states:
Arsenal are hoping to bring in reinforcements up front this January and Arsene Wenger has two names in his sights.
The Gunners are looking at Standard Liege hot-shot Michy Batshuayi, 20, who could be available for around £8m.
They are stepping up their scouting work on him and doing checks as they look to bolster their squad with a January swoop.
A quick and powerful forward option, Batshuayi has shown signs over the last 12 months of increased maturity on and off the field, resulting in calls for him to be handed a place at next summer's World Cup per ESPN FC's Michael Yokhin.
Yokhin quotes Kortrijk coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck as commenting recently: "He still has to learn a lot, but he is fast, can play in many positions and fit into different systems. Michy is someone who is able to make a difference, and you need such a player at the World Cup."
A place at the World Cup may not be of much relevance to Arsenal, but it could well affect Batshuayi's thinking regarding a move. Standard will be reluctant to sell regardless, given their chance to claim the Belgian league title this season.
They may not have a choice, however, with HLN's London correspondent Kristof Terreur reporting via his Twitter account that Batshuayi has a release clause of €8 million—lower than the figure quoted by Cross.
Terreur also suggests that an English club has expressed willingness to meet that figure and, given Arsenal's long running interest in the player, it is widely suggested that it is the Gunners who are the enthused party.
#Batshuayi has a release clause of 8m euros in his contract.— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) December 24, 2013
With Batshuayi able to play right across the front three, he would be a useful option as the games begin to stack up later in the season. Besides offering cover for centre-forward Olivier Giroud, he could also play a wide forward role if required.
Arsenal's challenge for titles is in danger of falling away after a series of tough encounters in recent weeks and, as a result, a timely boost in the January window would be well received by players and supporters alike.
In regards to Batshuayi leaving, Standard are adamant he won't in January. Could see it if club meets buyout clause (reportedly 8m euros).— The Belgian Waffle (@TheBelgianWffle) December 27, 2013
Batshuayi could well be that man, with his pace and power meaning that he is rarely found hiding on the big occasion. The Belgian is a headline maker and attention has followed him throughout his early career.
At present, a further injection of both talent and confidence could be the ideal next step for the Gunners as they look to keep pace at the top of the Premier League in coming months.