Arsenal are reportedly planning a £15m move for Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez (above) when the transfer window opens next month.
The 24-year-old has fallen down Diego Simeone's pecking order, managing just six La Liga starts this season, with the manager preferring South American hotshot Radamel Falcao ahead of the Spanish international.
The Gunners have recently also been linked with a move for Barcelona forward David Villa. However, according to the Daily Mirror, Arsene Wenger now feels Lopez would be a better option than the out-of-form Villa, who turned 31 this month. The Atletico star, who has a release clause of around £15m, would also be available for a much lower wage package than his compatriot.
"Arsenal have asked Barcelona about David Villa, but the manager has a lot of concerns. It is looking increasingly likely Adrian is the man he will go for. He is a younger version of Villa and will fit into Arsenal's wage structure," the report quoted a source close to the club as saying.
The newspaper also claims Arsenal asked Barcelona whether Villa would be available on loan till the end of the season but the Catalans prefer a permanent transfer, with Juventus, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur all monitoring the striker's situation.
Huntelaar Commits to Schalke
Meanwhile, Arsenal target Klass Jan Huntelaar has signed a contract extension with Schalke 04, which will keep him at the club till 2015, ending all speculation about his possible departure from the Bundesliga during the January transfer window.
"I have thought long and hard about this decision and I am very grateful that my managers of FC Schalke 04 have given this time. But now I have made the decision, in which I have the best feeling," Huntelaar told the club's official website.
"I've always felt comfortable at Schalke, the club and its fans. I now want to put a positive sign, because I believe in our team and the fact that we are in the second round in the Bundesliga is a great prize. And we are in the knockout stages of the Champions League," the Dutchman added.