Arsenal have identified Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani as the player to strengthen their attacking lineup for the 2016/17 season after Jamie Vardy snubbed a chance to move to the Emirates. The England striker decided against joining the Gunners and committed his future to Leicester City by signing a new deal.
Arsene Wenger was the admirer of the Foxes striker after he played a key role in helping Claudio Ranieri's side win the title last campaign. The north London club even triggered Vardy's release clause, but a better offer from Leicester was sufficient for him to reject advances from the Gunners.
According to Portuguese publication A Bola, Wenger has turned his attention towards Slimani in order to bolster his side's strike force. The 28-year-old had an impressive season with Sporting and was the league's second leading scorer with 27 goals in the Primeira Liga.
The Algerian improved his goalscoring record from 12 in 2014/15 season to 27 goals in the last term. Sporting manager Jorge Jesus has backed Slimani to score twice as more goals as Vardy in the Premier League, if he is well guided.
"Vardy was this year's revelation. People say that Slimani wouldn't be able to play for Leicester but I disagree," Jesus said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"In England if he is guided by a manager who knows a lot about football, he can score double the goals Vardy does."
Slimani has long been monitored by Arsenal and are now looking to land him this summer. A Bola claims Slimani's future lies in England and could be heading to the Premier League in the summer transfer window. He has a €30m (£24.3m, $33.3m) release clause in his contract and it should be seen whether Wenger will meet the player's asking price.
The Sporting frontman was also wanted by Leicester as a replacement for Vardy. With the England international signing a new deal, it now paves the way for Arsenal to land Slimani. Another Portuguese publication O Jogo (via The Sun), earlier suggested that Wenger is ready to meet the Algerian's full release clause in order to bring him to the Emirates.