Arsene Wenger has made Leon Goretzka his No1 midfield target for next summer.
Schalke midfielder Goretzka is on course to be out of contract at the end of the season and Arsenal are chasing the 22-year-old Germany international.
They face competition for his signature from Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool as well as Italian champions Juventus and Bundesliga top dogs Bayern Munich.
Schalke have tabled a new contract offer, but could sell Goretzka in January if he turns it down.
Arsenal signed wing-back Sead Kolasinac from Schalke on a Bosman last summer and he has been a huge success.
The north Londoners stand to lose star duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez with both players out of contract at the end of this season.
They will have more and better options if they leave as free agents then rather than being sold in January.
But Arsenal are tracking their own potential free signing in Goretzka, who is building a reputation as one of the Bundesliga’s best young talents.
Boss Arsene Wenger is also considering a move for a centre-half in January to increase his defensive options.
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