Arsenal have been linked with a surprise move for Espanyol striker Raul de Tomas, according to AS.
The Gunners are desperate to bring in a new striker this month, but they have so far been unsuccessful in their attempts to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina.
The club are in a position to finalise a transfer fee, but the 21-year-old and his representative are not convinced by a potential move to north London this month.
It was recently claimed that Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak could be an alternative, but he may not come cheaply with a €90m release clause on his contract.
AS now reports that Espanyol’s Raul de Tomas has emerged as another target for the Gunners. The 27-year-old has been tracked closely by the club’s scouts lately.
Mikel Arteta is an admirer of the 27-year-old, who made his international debut for Spain last year. Espanyol are aware of the interest, but their stance is unclear.
The striker has a release clause of €70m on his contract which only expires in June 2026.
Vlahovic would have been the dream signing for the Gunners, but the Serbian does not fancy a move, particularly with the lack of Champions League football.
He could be on his way to Juventus instead. Hence, the Gunners will need to look at alternatives. Isak may prove expensive, and this may have turned their attention to De Tomas.
The Spaniard has barely made the headlines across Europe, but has chipped in with an impressive tally of 12 goals from 21 La Liga games, only Karim Benzema has fared better.
It is unclear whether there is any truth to the speculation. If there is, De Tomas could be seen as a stop-gap option, but it may not be easy to prise him away from Espanyol.
The Spanish outfit are nine points adrift of safety, but may not entertain the prospect of losing their main striker midway through the campaign, barring a sizeable bid.
With more than four years left on his contract, they may just prefer to keep him until the summer unless the Gunners pay close to his hefty buy-out clause which seems unlikely.
If De Tomas ends up joining the club, he may not be available for the Wolverhampton Wanderers game on February 10 following his sending off against Real Betis last week.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
Read: Arsenal actively exploring deal for Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak.