The 2014 summer transfer window has been a furious one early, with nearly all top teams around the European continent already announcing signings. Arsenal have been among the most active teams, and reports of rumoured deals and negotiations just keep on coming.
Most of the team's transfer news appears to be centered around the attacking unit, as the Gunners look to improve on last year's fourth-placed Premier League finish and an attack that scored less than all of the teams above them on the table, per WhoScored.com.
Read on for the latest news surrounding some of the targets the Gunners are reportedly interested in.
Alvaro Morata Off to Juventus
The Spanish striker will move to the Italian champions, and as he told Marca (h/t to Football-Espana.net), he couldn't be happier:
"I am very happy, for me it's about having a personal challenge."
The Metro's Julian Shea was previously reporting the Bianconeri were looking to rival the Gunners for the signature of Alexis Sanchez, but the club has since turned its attention to the younger, cheaper Morata.
The good news is this means Arsenal are firmly in the driver's seat for Sanchez—the bad news is they might be missing out on a potential steal in Morata, who was described as a "long standing target" for the Gunners by the Mirror's Ben Curtis.
As a Real Madrid youth product, Morata was worked slowly into the team in the last few years, seeing quite a bit of action as a substitute in 2013-14. And when he did play, he was incredibly productive, via MisterChip:
Best goal/minute ratio in La Liga 2013-14: 1º MORATA (1 goal each 72 min) 2º Cristiano (1 each 82) 3º Ibai (1 each 86) 4º Messi (1 each 87)— MisterChip (English) (@MisterChiping) May 17, 2014
Morata has great size and instincts inside the box, and the Bianconeri will only be paying €22 million for his services, per Marca. Sanchez will continue stealing the headlines in the coming days, but the Gunners could have used the services of Morata just as much.
Arsenal Closing in on Loic Remy
The Gunners are reportedly close to landing the French international, per Get West London (h/t The Independent). Speculation regarding his interest in moving to Arsenal arose at the end of last season, when he was spotted attending an Arsenal match in the stands.
The Queens Park Rangers striker impressed at Newcastle last season, and while he'll likely never be a star forward, he could be a very valuable asset coming off the bench and spelling the designated starter in cup matches.
With a reported price tag of £8 million, Remy would represent excellent value in a transfer market that could break several records during this window. With 14 goals in 26 league matches, per WhoScored, the 27-year-old is a proven Premier League striker with the versatility to help out wide.
A partnership with current starter Olivier Giroud could be a successful one, as Giroud was forced to play far too many minutes last season. And given the relatively small transfer fee, a move for a top striker wouldn't be ruled out by bringing in Remy.
Mario Mandzukic on His Way to Atletico Madrid
That top striker won't be Bayern Munich's Mandzukic, however, with BILD (h/t to The Independent's Charles Reynolds) reporting the Croatian international will be moving to the Spanish capital.
Mandzukic grew frustrated with new manager Pep Guardiola during the 2013-14 season and knew his time as a starter in Bavaria would be over once Robert Lewandowski made the move from rivals Borussia Dortmund, leading to his transfer demands. As he told a Croatian newspaper (via Reynolds):
I met (Bayern chairman) Karl Heinz Rummenigge before the (German) cup final and told him I wanted to leave the club.
I've had a fantastic time at Bayern. It's a great club and I never thought I'd want to leave, and especially not at this point in time. But, let's be honest, I cannot play to my strengths under Guardiola's style - no matter how hard I try.
I realised that after the 1-0 defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final first leg and, that being the case, it's best for all parties that we go our separate ways.
Mandzukic is a very productive classic target man, and his profile was always rather similar to current Gunners striker Giroud. While the Croatian is certainly a more productive option, questions arose whether he would be the best fit for the Gunners and their high-octane style of play.
Spanish champions Atletico will reportedly pay £17.5 million for his services, and while that fee isn't astronomical, it would still present a steep fee for Arsenal, who already field a similar player in Giroud.
Wenger will have to turn his attention elsewhere if he still wishes to upgrade the forward position, and with Mandzukic and Morata now seemingly off the market, the crop of class strikers is quickly thinning.