Odion Ighalo
Alex Mowatt of Leeds United (R) and Odion Ighalo of Watford compete for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup fifth round match between Watford and Leeds United at Vicarage Road on 20 February 20 in Watford, EnglandGetty

Arsenal have stepped up their interest in signing Watford striker Odion Ighalo in the summer as Arsene Wenger looks to bolster his strike force. The Gunners have struggled to score goals this season, as was evident in their 2-0 loss to Barcelona, which has all but ended their hopes of progressing in the Champions League.

The Mirror reports that Arsenal are willing to match Watford's £20m ($28m) valuation of the player, who has scored 14 goals in the league this season and is being monitored by the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United. Moreover, according to the Manchester Evening news United are ready to go toe-to-toe with other big hitters in the league to secure his signature, with the player having previously expressed an interest in moving to Old Trafford.

The north London club have scored only four times in their last five league games, winning two and losing one against Chelsea. However, should they have ambitions of winning the league, the likes of Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud have to step up to the plate. Alexis Sanchez, who has returned from injury also needs to get back to scoring ways, with his only goal after his return coming against Burnley in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Giroud has gone eight games without a goal in all competitions, but contributed with two crucial assists against Bournemouth and Leicester City, which helped secure six crucial points for the Gunners. Moreover, Wenger will be hoping that bringing in Ighalo would alleviate the pressure on Giroud.

The Gunners have an important game lined up against United this weekend, where a loss could be a massive blow to their title credentials. Arsenal are currently on 51 points, two points adrift of leaders Leicester City and level on points with Tottenham Hotspur, but behind on goal difference.