Arsene Wenger is lining up a bid to bring Borussia Dortmund star Mario Goetze to Arsenal, reports claim.
The Mail says AW sent chief scout Steve Rowley to watch the 19-year-old in Dortmund’s Champions League win over Olympiakos in Germany on Tuesday night.
The paper adds that Rowley was also joined at the BVB Stadion by another "senior Arsenal spy" - such is the club’s seriousness about signing the player. It claims that AW views the Germany international as one of the brightest creative talents in Europe and is willing to smash the club’s current transfer record - the £15million paid to Zenit St Petersburg for Andrey Arshavin - to land Goetze.
The paper points out that the German put in an excellent display against Arsenal during the 1-1 Champions League draw in Dortmund in September. And Arsenal’s "top spies" will run the rule over Goetze once more when the club’s meet again on November 23.
The Bundesliga club rate the youngster around the £20million bracket and while the Gunners will initially refuse to meet Dortmund’s asking price, Wenger has made it clear that Goetze is a top priority target. Arsenal are preparing a January offer for Goetze but whether the German club are willing to sell their highly-rated forward in mid-season remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, the Mirror this morning reports that AW has ruled Arsenal out of the chase for Real Madrid’s Esteban Granero. The Gunners have been linked with the Spain Under-21 forward, but the manager says he is not interested.
CARL ELDRIDGE - on Twitter @eldomedia