Arsenal have been given the green light to bid for Everton youngster Ademola Lookman, who is being considered as a possible replacement for Alexis Sanchez. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been told the 19-year-old would be keen on a return to London and will submit a January bid in an effort to end his nightmare spell at Goodison Park.
Lookman has made just 12 appearances for the Toffees since arriving from Charlton Athletic in January 2017 and has not played a single minute in the Premier League this season, despite Ronald Koeman's side having won just twice.
The Sun understand that Arsenal have been informed Lookman is eager for a return to the capital and the 13-time FA Cup winners will attempt to test Everton's resolve with a bid in the region of £15m in the January transfer window.
Wenger is meanwhile hopeful that Arsenal's close relationship with the agency which represents Lookman may prove crucial in completing the deal. The Leon Angel-run Base Soccer Agency have the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi, Mohamed Elneny and Chuba Akpom on their books and that could improve the chances of a deal materialising.
Should that bid fail then Olivier Giroud may be used as bait in any follow-up offer, after Everton failed to sign the France international during the summer. The 31-year-old has not started a top-flight game this term though he did bring up a century of goals for Arsenal in the recent Europa League at BATE Borisov.
With Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott edging towards the end of their contracts – expiring in the summers of 2018 and 2019 respectively – Arsenal want to add pace to their team to cover for their inevitable departures. While Chile international Sanchez could leave as soon as January, there has been little progress over Walcott's new deal.
Lookman was part of the successful England side which won the Under-20 World Cup in the summer, scoring three goals on the team's run to the final which he played from the start. But despite their success, Lookman has been among the players to be overlooked by their clubs this season, leading to the possibility he could leave Merseyside after just 12 months.