Arsenal Transfer News: Liverpool and Everton Join Battle for Josip Drmic

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2014

Nuremberg's Josip Drmic of Switzerland, left, and Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger challenge for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and 1. FC Nuremberg, in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader

Liverpool and Everton have joined the race to sign prolific Nurnberg youngster Josip Drmic, according to reports.

As reported by Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star, Arsenal may no longer be the front-runners to sign the exciting forward:

The Merseyside duo are ready to rival Arsenal for Nuremberg striker Drmic, 21.

However, Arsenal remain locked in a battle with their Premier League rivals and German sides Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen for Drmic's signature.

Drmic has caught the eye of many after emerging as Nurnberg's most important player during his first season in the senior side. Signed from FC Zurich after scoring a plethora of goals in the Swiss league, Drmic has racked up 16 strikes in 27 Bundesliga games for a team that is currently one place outside the relegation zone, per

To put this into perspective, Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic is the only player to score more goals than Drmic. The Croat has fired one more than his Bundesliga counterpart, but has the advantage of playing for an unbeaten, championship-winning side.

Robert Lewandowski and Adrian Ramos are joint-second top scorers alongside Drmic, reported by ESPN FC.

Lothar Matthaus recently suggested Drmic's wife is looking for a flat in London, reported by German-based pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft:

Drmic denied this claim, but did say "any boy dreams" of playing for Arsenal, per Jure Bohoric of Sky Sports. The Gunners need an out-and-out goalscorer, something that isn't offered by Olivier Giroud, Yaya Sanogo and Nicklas Bendtner. Even at the age of 21, Drmic is proving to be a lethal finisher in a competitive league.

Brendan Rodgers may see the player's versatility as a major plus point. The Northern Irishman has previously courted Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka, reported by David Wright of the Express, who are also capable of playing across the frontline. Drmic is more of a full-blooded striker, but can be deployed in similar roles.

ST GALLEN, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 05: (L-R) Xherdan Shaqiri, Ricardo Rodriguez, Josip Drmic and Johan Djourou of Switzerland stand for the national anthem prior the international friendly match between Switzerland and Croatia at the AFG Arena on March 5, 201
Marc Eich/Getty Images

Everton are likely to be searching for a replacement to Romelu Lukaku. The on-loan Chelsea star is yet to commit his future to any club, but even if he returns to Goodison Park next season, Drmic would still be a smart investment. His natural lethality and consistency would compliment Lukaku's hold-up play well, providing Roberto Martinez with a greater range of attacking options.

Those interested in the Swiss international would be wise to act before the World Cup. Drmic is likely to take a leading role in the nation's matches with Ecuador, France and Honduras, ensuring his price will rise if he performs admirably.

It seems Drmic will have a real decision to make in the summer. The calibre of club reportedly interested in his services highlights just how fantastic the starlet's season has been. A proven goalscorer in two countries and on the international stage, Drmic's name looks set to explode in the coming few months.