Arsenal circling for Atletico Madrid attacker Alessio Cerci
Atletico Madrid forward Alessio Cerci is said to be ready to swap Spain for the Premier League, after struggling to settle with Diego Simeone’s side, and Arsenal (33/1 with Coral to lift the Champions League) are favourites to snare the star.
The Gunners have been linked with a host of extravagant attacking additions ahead of the winter window, but could snap up Italy international Cerci for a much more reasonable price.
Atletico are reportedly open to offers already, after forking out £13m for his services this summer. The former Torino man has netted just once in six appearances this campaign, meaning an exit could suit both player and club.
Arsene Wenger was apparently interested in the Azzurri attacker before Atleti stepped in, and could now offer his target an escape route. The talented 27-year-old would add guile to any team and is versatile enough to play in numerous positions, which could see him slot easily into the adaptable Emirates offence.
Primarily a second striker, left-footed Cerci is also a threat from the right wing, where he often plays for his nation, and has proved to be potent in Serie A despite his La Liga troubles.
During his time in Turin, the 14-capped maestro proved to be an effective creator, as well as a capable finisher, grabbing 21 goals and 24 assists in 73 outings across all competitions.
The north Londoners would likely face stiff competition for his services, however, with domestic rivals Manchester United also said to be tracking Cerci, and new Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini reportedly keen to lure the Atleti man back to Italy.
Mancini is looking to reshape the stumbling Nerazzurri, and could offer to make Cerci a key man in their renaissance. Meanwhile, the Red Devils have been hampered by injury problems, and could use the tricky attacker to plug several holes in the squad.
Wily Wenger may have Cerci in his sights, but the Frenchman is also looking to the future. Newcastle United wideman Rolando Aarons has also apparently caught the Arsenal coach’s eye, but the Gunners again face competition from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
The adventurous wingman, just 19, has only 18 months left on his current Magpies contract, with the northeast club rumoured to be in no hurry to tie him down to a longer deal.
Aarons’ uncertain status could have clubs clamouring for his signature, after the Toon talent illustrated his prowess in front of goal by opening the scoring against City (6/1 to win the Premier League) in the League Cup.
Likened to Raheem Sterling, the pacy Jamaican-born starlet has dazzled since being given a chance at St James’ Park, and has been on twice in five appearances this term.