Watford striker Odion Ighalo has been identified as a "more realistic" target than Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Arsenal, as the Gunners look to bolster their front line—per Sami Mokbel of the MailOnline.
The club’s scouts have been tasked with picking out prolific front men ahead of the summer transfer window, and the Nigerian’s sensational start to the 2015/16 Premier League has seen him emerge as a target.
Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez is another name linked with a switch to the Emirates after his goalscoring exploits with Bayer Leverkusen, but he’s reportedly reluctant to return to English football, per Mokbel.
Ighalo is also more of a budget option, too, but that doesn’t mean he’s not as effective, as he’s scored 14 goals already this term and been the catalyst behind the Hornets’ surge up the Premier League.
Naturally, that’s brought ample praise around the world of football, with former Premier League hitman Shaun Goater saying Ighalo reminds him of Samuel Eto’o. Praise indeed:
Shaun Goater MBE @OfficialSGoater
#watfordvcity @MCFC Ighalo is clearly the one to keep quiet. I admire his talent, he is a good forward reminds me a bit like S. Eto1/2/2016, 5:48:48 PM
However, luring him away from Vicarage Road could be a tough task.
The Nigerian seemingly has his heart set on a move to Manchester United—the club he supported as a boy—and he told Tony Little of the Sun that any approach from the Red Devils would be hard to turn down.
On top of that, Watford are understandably reluctant to let Ighalo depart, with manager Quique Sanchez Flores saying that it would be "impossible" for the striker to leave in January.
Ighalo recently signed a contract extension that will keep him at Watford until 2020, which means it would take a pretty penny to lure him away.
Not quite the rumoured £50 million that Dortmund are demanding for Aubameyang, per Mokbel's report, but certainly into double figures.
It’s up to manager Arsene Wenger to determine whether or not Ighalo is worth chasing, although based on the campaign so far, it looks a no-brainer.
Elsewhere, Sevilla midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak has confirmed that Arsenal are interested in securing his services in the January transfer window.
The Polish international has been a consistent performer for the Spanish outfit since joining from Reims in 2014, and Gunners boss Wenger clearly thinks he can be the anchor fans have been crying out for.
However, Krychowiak has kept his cool on the situation, telling FourFourTwo that he’s staying fully focused on life with Sevilla and will let his agent handle transfer business:
I've heard about Arsenal, but I leave it to my agent. I trust him and he's the one who deals with that kind of the stuff. I can’t think about things like that. I have to keep my mind free of any distraction and just focus on doing my job for Sevilla.
Arsenal need to strengthen both in the middle of midfield and up front if they're to return to the forefront of European football, so these rumours will bring plenty of encouragement to fans.
The Gunners are in the best position they’ve been to win the Premier League in more than a decade, but January’s transfer business could prove the difference between the title and top-four "mediocrity."