Arsenal in advance talk over signing €25m-rated Belgium international

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London club have approached to sign Dries Mertens on a free transfer from Napoli, according to reports in Italy. Arsenal are looking for new additions this month with Mikel Arteta prioritising a move for a new centre-back following Calum Chambers’ season-ending injury.

But the Spanish manager could also be in the market for a new centre-forward at the end of the campaign as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future is still in doubt.

Gabon international will have just a year remaining on his current deal at the end of the campaign, while reports have claimed that the centre-forward has already told Mikel that he wants to leave the Gunners this summer as he wants to join a side capable of winning major titles.

The London club al are already lining up a potential replacement, and an initial approach has been made for Belgium international. Dries is out of contract with the Italian club at the end of the campaign and is now free to negotiate a contract with other clubs.

Mertens would, therefore, represent a cheap solution for Gunners, who are already operating on a restricted transfer budget and are reportedly exploring loan deals this month. The 32-year-old striker would also offer Mikel a versatile option in Gunners front-line as he is capable of playing on the left side or through the middle.

The Belgian striker has scored nine goals in 22 games for Napoli this campaign, including two with Liverpool in the Champions League. The Spanish coach, meanwhile, has warned that Gunners could struggle to complete a signing during the winter transfer window.

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