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David Ornstein provides update on Arsenal’s pursuit of Alexander Isak

Alexander Isak

David Ornstein has provided an update on Arsenal’s pursuit of a new striker and has suggested any move for Alexander Isak won’t happen until the summer. 

Mikel Arteta has been very public with his desire to strengthen his squad this month as he looks to boost Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League next season.

A new striker is a priority as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks set to join Barcelona on loan until the end of the season after being axed from the squad and stripped of the captaincy by Arteta late last year.

Folarin Balogun has already left the club on loan leaving Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah as the only senior striking options so Arteta has been keen to bring in another forward to bolster his front-line.

Arsenal spent most of the month trying to land Dusan Vlahovic before missing out to Juventus but The Athletic claimed last week that the Gunners were still actively pursuing another striker with Real Sociedad star Isak named as a key target.

The Evening Standard said Arsenal would have to trigger the 22-year-old’s £75m release clause if they wanted to get a deal done and Isak fuelled speculation that he was heading to the Emirates after being spotted in London over the weekend.

However, David Ornstein has now provided an update on Arsenal’s striker search and claims Arsenal are NOT close to signing anyone. The Athletic journalist says Isak, like Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, remains a target but suggests any move will now have to wait until the summer.

No striker close

Ornstein says he still cannot rule out a late move – although any deal is likely to be a short-term loan – but as things stand it looks like it’s going to be a frustrating month for Arteta with no new significant arrivals.

Ornstien told Sky Sports:

As things stand, unless there’s a late twist – and we have seen them before with Arsenal – their not close to bringing anybody in.

They looked to reinforce in the striker position. They were prepared to throw everything at Dusan Vlahovic but he never seemed to want to come.

There were other options, such as Alexander Isak, who’s been a target for some time and will continue to be into the summer. [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin at Everton as well.

We can’t rule out a late move, but it may be a loan at this point. There will be frustration from Mikel Arteta. Maybe they can get through until the summer and do their recruit then as planned, but clearly they would have liked to do more in an ideal world in January.

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So it seems Arsenal aren’t going to be bringing in a new striker on deadline day and will risk going into the second half of the season with just Lacazette and Nketiah as their striking options. It’s a huge risk by the club, especially as Arsenal have a terrific opportunity to make a real push for fourth place this season.

Fans will still be holding out hope of a late arrival but time is running out for Arteta to strengthen his squad before the window closes at 11pm.

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