Club Chief Confirms Arsenal Interest In Belgian Striker

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By Tony Mogan | December 5, 2013 11:55 PM EST

Arsenal may be preparing to make an opening bid for Standard Liege forward Michy Batshuayi, according to the Belgian club's president.

The Gunners' esteemed scouting system has been monitoring the 20-year-old's rapid progress in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League, with former player and now the man charged with scouring the French and Belgian markets Giles Grimandi personally watching over the Standard starlet.

Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws report the Gunners scout is just one of one of 20 recently dispatched by clubs across the continent to watch over Batshuayi.

It is also suggested Swansea City attempted to secure a deal for the youngster during the summer transfer window but saw a bid of €3m rejected, a stance Standard president Roland Duchatelet insists will be upheld should Arsenal make their interest formal.

"What is new is the interest of Arsenal, although Arsenal are just one of many clubs who are chasing our striker Michy," was quoted as saying in the same publication.

"Anyway, we are not willing to let Michy go this season."

Batshuayi is one of the latest talented forwards to emerge from Belgium and although he is yet to make a lasting impression on national team coach Marc Wilmots, his exploits at club level and for the Under-21 side have helped to lift  his profile.

The forward has struck 12 goals in 17 appearances for Standard this season, including a brace in a 5-0 thrashing of Lierse at the weekend. A further two goals for Belgium's Under-21 ranks in their opening five games of their Euro 2015 qualification campaign has also helped his cause.

While Nicklas Bendtner scored his first goal for Arsenal since 2010 in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Cardiff City in the absence of Olivier Giroud, question marks remain over the Premier League leaders' lack of depth up front.

While Wenger is likely to have funds at his disposal ahead of the January transfer window, whether the Gunners' boss decides to add to his squad remains to be seen.

The club's other striking option in France Under-21 international Yaya Sanogo remains largely unproven at the Emirates having struggled with injury following his summer move, but Wenger remains confident the youngster can provide adequate cover upon his return.

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