Arsenal are favourites to land former Schalke striker Ciprian Marica, with reports in Romania claiming that the 27-year-old is set for a move to England. The Gunners have already bought Mesut Ozil for a record £42.5m fee this summer but failed in their attempts to sign a backup striker for Olivier Giroud.
The north London club tried to sign Demba Ba on loan from Chelsea but Jose Mourinho scuppered the move at the last minute. Striker Marica was released by Schalke this summer and in spite of interest from Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and other top-drawer clubs, he still finds himself struggling to make a move.
The Gunners are likely to face competition from West Ham, who are looking for cover for the injured Andy Carroll, but reports claim that Arsenal are favourites for his signature. The player has been in good form of late, scoring in Romania's win over Hungary in Group D of the World Cup Qualifiers. His agent has confirmed that talks are on with Arsenal.
"Marica is a really great striker who has already got experience in western European football and so it's natural that big clubs are eyeing his career. He's close to joining Arsenal, but we have to wait for the next week," said his agent Ioan Becali.
Meanwhile, Per Mertesacker believes that Ozil will have a major impact at Arsenal following his transfer from Real Madrid and make them even more dangerous in the long run. The German international will make his debut against Sunderland next weekend.
"I think that Arsene Wenger will get the best out of him," Mertesacker said. "I think he will fit in. He suits us and we're really looking forward to playing with him and to be his team-mate. We need players in every position - maybe two or three players, they can rotate and change position. We need to be dangerous up front and with him we are more dangerous."