Arsenal ready to beat Chelsea with £35m swoop for 22-goal striker

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Mauro Icardi

According to reports from The Sun, Arsenal are set to launch a £35million bid for Chelsea and Liverpool strike target Mauro Icardi in January. 

The Inter Milan frontman was linked with a Premier League move during the summer, after finishing last season as Serie A’s top scorer with 22 goals in 36 league appearances, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United reported as particularly keen. In fact, the Gunners are believed to have seen a £32million bid rejected during the last transfer window – as claimed by both The Sun and The Independent.

The Argentina international appeared to end speculation over his San Siro future by signing a four-year contract extension in June and later accepting the Nerazzurri armband. But the increased responsibility has affected Icardi’s scoring form, finding just four goals across all competitions despite Inter topping the Serie A table with a two-point cushion.

The 23-year-old was dropped by manager Robert Mancini for a title clash with Roma prior to the international break and murmurings of a move away from Milan have resurfaced since. Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea have all been repeatedly linked over the last few weeks, whilst reports from Italy claim Icardi already has one eye on moving to the Premier League or La Liga before the start of next season.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Arsenal are preparing a winter swoop for the 5 foot 11 striker, following a series of underwhelming performances from Olivier Giroud in the absence of the injured Theo Walcott, and The Sun have now put a figure on the Gunners’ planned January bid – £35million. That would make Icardi the joint-second most expensive signing in the club’s history, along with summer 2014 arrival Alexis Sanchez.

But whether such a bid would be successful remains to be seen. Inter are keen to hold onto the South American, especially amid their strongest title bid since 2010, and prior reports have suggested that club president Erick Thohir will reject all offers – regardless of their value – in January.

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