Arsenal have reportedly made a bid for Trabzonspor playmaker Yusuf Yazici, a player likened to the Gunners' own Mesut Ozil.
The latter is out of contract next summer and looks increasingly unlikely to sign a new deal. In the meantime, Arsenal appear to be stepping up efforts to prepare for life without Ozil, according to reports in Turkey.
Spence noted how 20-year-old Yazici "has apparently been dubbed 'the new Mesut Ozil' by fans." However, securing Ozil's potential replacement won't be easy, with Fanatik also reporting interest from Benfica and Ligue 1 champions AS Monaco.
They aren't the only clubs keen on the midfield schemer, as Arsenal's Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester United have also been credited with interest, according to another report from Fanatik (h/t Alex Porter of the Manchester Evening News).
One positive for the Gunners' pursuit is Trabzonspor's willingness to eventually sell one of their prized assets. Club official Muharrem Usta has made it clear Yazici can be sold, per Spence: "He will be sold when the time is right, Yusuf will be an ambassador for the club and reach the highest level."
Arsenal's case to sign the player looks stronger still, per information from Turkish source Haberturk (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness): "According to the Turkish outlet, Arsene Wenger's side also happens to be the 20-year-old's favourite Premier League team."
Coast added: "Haberturk state that while Arsenal's offer has been 'met with excitement,' no positive or negative response to the bid has been given."
Moving early to beat the competition to a player with Yazici's guile and technique would be a smart ploy from the Gunners and manager Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman won't want to lose the creativity of Ozil without replacing his influence in the final third.
Losing Ozil is something Wenger may have to be resigned to as United and La Liga giants Barcelona show interest, according to Goal's Chris Wheatley. It means Arsenal may have to accelerate the process of looking for a replacement.
Ozil isn't the only creative maestro Wenger has to think about replacing. Santi Cazorla is now 32 and struggling to overcome an Achilles problem that's kept him out for a year, and he won't be back until after Christmas, per Charles Watts of Football.London.
The re-emergence of Jack Wilshere recently has given Wenger another skilled schemer, but Wilshere's own lengthy injury history means Arsenal still need more in the creative department. Yazici boasts the qualities Wenger admires as a neat pass-and-move creator who already has a pair of assists to his credit this season, per WhoScored.com.
Wenger builds his teams and the Gunners' style of play around midfielders with intelligence, vision and flair. Yazici possesses all of those attributes, so he makes sense as a target Arsenal could secure for a modest fee.