Arsenal are considering a surprise summer move for Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, according to the Express.
The Manchester City forward has struggled to impose himself into Roberto Mancini's plans, despite a return of 12 goals and two assists from 26 Premier League games; only 13 of those games were starts. However, Dzeko's recent form has been poor, with the 27-year-old not having found the net for his club since the 1-3 defeat to Southampton in early February.
Arsene Wenger is believed to want Dzeko as cover and competition for the Franco-German duo of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, who were acquired in the summer to fill the gap left by Dutch striker Robin van Persie. However, neither Giroud nor Podolski has impressed particularly, while Dzeko, despite limited game time at the Etihad, has performed comparatively better.
Wenger's plans for a surprise swoop are likely to be bolstered by the fact Mancini needs to offload some of his fringe players for transfer funds and to free up wages; the club have been linked to Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao and the Colombian will cost at least £50m, according to the Spanish club's officials. The champions are believed to be readying a summer sale of players and the Bosnian is on that list.
However, any thoughts of snapping up Dzeko on the cheap are unlikely to be entertained, with Mancini quoted as valuing his player at £17m. The ex-Inter Milan boss confirmed he wants to retain the striker but admitted that if a request was made or a bid submitted he would consider the situation.
Finally, if Wenger is serious about Dzeko, he will have to fight German champions Borussia Dortmund for his signature. Jurgen Klopp's side are likely to lose their leading scorer Robert Lewandowski, with Manchester United and Bayern Munich linked to the Polish international. And Dortmund general manager, Michael Zorc, has revealed the club's interest in Dzeko as a potential replacement.
Incidentally, Arsenal have also been linked to Lewandowski, as part of a mammoth £70m raid on the Bundesliga. The Mirror reported Wenger would also move for the Pole's club mate Mario Gotze and Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender.