Sports: Arsenal to bid for Madrid’s Morata

Arsène Wenger is ready to reignite his interest in Real Madrid striker Álvaro Morata in the summer.

The Arsenal manager inquired about signing Morata on loan in January, but Real would not let the 21-year-old go.

Morata is understood to be keen on a permanent switch to the Emirates at the end of the season and Wenger is ready to make a move.

The Spaniard has made 39 appearances for Real, scoring five goals, and has become increasingly frustrated by a lack of opportunities at the Bernabéu.

Morata’s record for Spain’s Under-21s is far more impressive, having netted 12 times in just 11 games. Wenger is well aware of the fact Morata fancies a move to Arsenal and Real will demand around £15 million for the player.

Real are expected to sign a big-name striker in the summer, but could still attempt to secure a buy-back clause in any deal for Morata.

Wenger’s interest in Morata will not end his long-running pursuit of Schalke star Julian Draxler, as the Frenchman wants to sign at least two forwards in the summer.

Nicklas Bendtner is expected to finally quit the Emirates at the end of the season, leaving Wenger two striker spots to fill.

Arsenal are confident of adding Santi Cazorla to a list of players who will sign new contracts for the club.

Cazorla is set to join Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky in agreeing a new deal to stay at the Emirates.

The midfielder’s contract expires in 2016, but Arsenal are prepared to extend that by a further year and increase his wages to £80,000 a week.

But Bacary Sagna’s future remains in doubt and Inter Milan have stepped up their interest in signing the right back.

Frenchman Sagna is out of contract at the end of the season and is yet to agree a new deal. He wants a three-year, £100,000-a-week contract, while Arsenal have so far offered a two-year extension on roughly the same £70,000-a-week terms he is currently on.

French and Turkish clubs are willing to hand 31-year-old Sagna a four-year contract, and Inter have now made their interest clear.

Arsenal visit Stoke City on Saturday with the home side’s manager, Mark Hughes, saying he is surprised the Londoners have sustained a title challenge so far into the season.

“They have always been an outstanding team and they have great ability within their ranks, but I just felt maybe they wouldn’t have the ability to sustain a challenge.” he said.

“I think there are possibly stronger challengers, stronger teams that could take it away from them.”

“But they have done really well up to this point to maintain that challenge and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were able to go right to the wire.”


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