Arsenal are in desperate need of a top-class striker if they are to contend both in Europe and domestically next season.
Many of the players currently on show in Brazil at World Cup 2014 will be of interest to Arsene Wenger as he looks for a new frontman to partner and compete with Olivier Giroud.
The Frenchman was the only Gunner to score more than 10 goals in the Premier League last season and a new world-class striker would add a great deal to the Arsenal side.
Read on for a look at the latest reports on Arsenal's strike targets Mario Mandzukic and Mario Balotelli.
Croatian Mandzukic is likely on his way out of Bayern Munich after requesting a transfer away from Bavaria, per Bundesliga pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft:
ATTENTION!!! Mandzukic in Croatian-paper „Sportske Novost": - I want to leave Bayern. Arsenal! This is your chance to get a Class Striker— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) June 9, 2014
The imposing striker proved his worth as he bagged two goals in Croatia's 4-0 victory over Cameroon in Brazil on Wednesday.
He scored 18 goals in Bayern's Bundesliga-winning campaign last season, per WhoScored.com, and he is a proven threat in front of goal.
Recent reports had suggested that the 28-year-old would be returning to former club Wolfsburg rather than making the much-rumoured move to Arsenal, per Die Welt (h/t Colin Harvey in the Daily Star).
Should Arsenal sign Mandzukic?
However, Wolfsburg director of sport Klaus Allofs has ruled out the switch, per Sport1 television (h/t ITV Sport):
"It's just a false announcement, there is no truth to it in the slightest," he said.
"I think our board of directors have already said what needs to be said about it: we have not had any contact with the player."
Mandzukic would be a terrific addition to Wenger's side and would provide a new dimension to the Gunners' play.
He is excellent in the air and causes opposition defences all kinds of trouble with his movement and positioning. Arsenal should not let up in their pursuit of Mandzukic as he could prove the difference as they look to genuinely compete for the Premier League next season.
Arsenal look to be in pole position to sign AC Milan striker Balotelli, with Wenger reportedly set to meet the player's agent to discuss a £25 million move, per the Daily Star (h/t Chris Richards in the Mirror).
The Italian scored 14 times and claimed six assists last season in Serie A and would be a top addition to Arsenal's side.
However, he has caused controversy at every club he has been at previously—including Manchester City—and could be a gamble for the north London side.
The reported fee is relatively high in terms of how much money Arsenal have spent on players in the past.
But the Gunners must spend big if they are to add true quality to their side and compete with the other top sides in the Premier League.
The Gunners look to be scouting the right kind of player to assist Olivier Giroud in leading the line at the Emirates. Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are not used by Wenger in out-and-out striking roles so they need a true frontman of real quality.
Mandzukic and Balotelli both fit the bill perfectly and Wenger needs to move swiftly in order to confirm a transfer.
Both have performed well in the World Cup so far, and continued success should only increase the prospect of a move to north London.