Arsenal's attempts to sign Sardar Azmoun will come as an unwelcome distraction for Gunners fans with Arsene Wenger surely in need of stronger reinforcements.
The Gunners are understood to be tracking the Rubin Kazan forward but appear to be in a three-way shootout with Serie A giants AC Milan and Juventus to land his signature, per Gary Jones of the Daily Star.
However, Azmoun has yet to make a decision on his future. He said, via Jones:
I have offers from three major clubs: Arsenal, AC Milan and Juventus.
I also had an offer from Barcelona, but due to their transfer ban the club is out of the picture at the moment.
The talks with both Milan and Arsenal are getting very serious. Both clubs have spoken to Kazan.
Azmoun is hardly the most prolific striker in Europe, having hit the net just three times in seven Russian Premier League appearances, per Whoscored.com. And at 19 years old, he is not blessed with experience.
Arsenal fans will expect another marquee signing this summer, not an unproven youngster. After the club-record signing of Mesut Ozil for £42.5 million from Real Madrid, the Gunners obviously have money to spend.
A better option for Wenger would be Chelsea's on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian, currently with Everton for the season, has scored 13 goals in 23 Premier League appearances so far this term (per Whoscored.com) and has been singled out as the player Wenger needs by a former Arsenal frontman.
True, Lukaku is just a year older than Azmoun, but he is a proven Premier League goalscorer and recognised as one of the most exciting talents in English football. Everton manager Roberto Martinez has dubbed him as a complete striker, per Sky Sports, and observers of his recent top-flight performances would struggle to disagree with the Spaniard’s assessment.
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has identified the striker role as Arsenal's Achilles' heel this term. Writing for BBC Sport in February, he said:
Arsenal's failure to sign another striker in the January transfer window surprised me - and makes them underdogs for the title.
The Gunners' firepower hardly compares to Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea, and if their only fit striker, and top scorer, Olivier Giroud were to get injured it would spell disaster.
However, the biggest question surrounding Arsenal at the moment has nothing to do with their strike options. The Emirates faithful are currently sweating on the future of their manager, per John Cross of the Mirror, with Wenger failing to clarify whether or not he will sign a new contract at the club. Some fans will want him to go after another disappointing domestic season, but incoming players will want to know which manager they will be working for before they move to North London.