Fernando Llorente
Juventus striker Fernando Llorente scored seven goals in the league last seasonGetty

Arsenal have stepped up their interest in Juventus striker Fernando Llorente and are currently ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign the player, according to Tuttosport.

The Gunners are willing to pay up to €11m (£8m, $12m) to secure his signature, with the striker currently much behind in the pecking order for the Turin club, following their summer acquisitions. Juventus have signed Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Simone Zaza this summer, making Llorente surplus to requirements at the club.

Arsenal are in the market for a striker to add competition to Olivier Giroud and the Daily Mail reports that Arsene Wenger has made Karim Benzema his top target this summer. However, his agent recently revealed that the Frenchman is unlikely to move out of Real Madrid, which has forced Wenger to look at other probable options.

Llorente would provide ample cover for Giroud, whose campaign last season was hindered by injuries. Giroud has played two pre-season games thus far this season, against Everton and Lyon, where the Gunners collectively scored nine goals, while conceding only one.

Meanwhile, Llorente has not been at his prolific best in the recently concluded campaign, scoring only seven goals and assisting one in 31 league appearances. United are also eyeing the striker as backup after letting Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie leave this summer, as reported by the Mirror.

Giroud scored the opener for the Gunners in their 6-0 thrashing of Ligue 1 runners-up Lyon and also set up goals for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mesut Ozil. Arsenal shall play Wolfsburg in the second Emirates Cup game on 26 July, as they look to win the tournament for the first time since 2010.

Alex Iwobi scored his first goal with the Arsenal first team and Wenger revealed that he will not be sent on loan, in favour of a stay at the Emirates.

"At the moment some players might go out on loan. At the moment Alex Iwobi will be staying with us but for the others we have to decide do they need the experience to play somewhere on a regular basis, to finish their education. It is always difficult to decide because they go out and they don't play they waste that time because here they practice with top-level players. So that's always very sensitive," Wenger told Arsenal's official website.