Arsenal face a fight from La Liga side Getafe in their pursuit of free agent Ciprian Marica as the north London club continue to look for support in their attacking half.
The Gunners failed to land a striker over the summer but Arsene Wenger tried to bringing a big name to the club before deadline day came to a close, having bids rebuffed for Liverpool man Luis Suarez and Chelsea's Demba Ba.
And now the manager is reportedly chasing Marica in the hopes of improving the depth of his attacking line-up, with the striker having been released by Schalke at the end of the 2012-13 season.
Marica struggled to make an impression for the German outfit but is still highly thought of amongst a number of clubs across Europe, with Lazio and Inter Milan also believed to be interested.
West Ham are reportedly monitoring the situation after Andy Carroll suffered another injury setback but Marica's agent Loan Becali has claimed this week that Arsenal are in fact very close to signing him.
"Marica is a really great striker who has already got experience in western European football and so it's natural that big clubs are eying his career," he said.
"He's close to joining Arsenal, but we have to wait for the next week."
But the Daily Express claim that Getafe have lined up Marica as an alternative target to former Chelsea and Arsenal man Yossi Benayoun, and should Benayoun go to Malaga which is currently likely they will make a move for the man who Arsenal were hoping to land in the coming weeks.
The Gunners currently have a building injury list with Theo Walcott suffering from an ankle problem on the international break. Olivier Giroud is currently the only fully fit striker available to Wenger and the acquisition of Marica could be a help despite the Romania international having struggled for game time with Schalke over the past two seasons.
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