Arsenal are keen on a move for Lorient forward Alexis Claude-Maurice, continuing a long-standing policy of pinching young French talent.
The youngster, who has also been linked with newly-promoted Norwich City, has impressed in Ligue 2 this season, scoring 14 goals in 35 appearances. Claude-Maurice has also appeared twice for France Under-20 team and is regarded as one of the country’s brightest prospects.
The Mirror report that the Gunners have scouted the youngster regularly and are set to move in front of Norwich in the queue for his signature
Several French clubs are also interested in the youngster, including Monaco. Lille, who are lining up potential replacements for Premier League-linked Nicolas Pepe, are also reportedly tracking the young forward.
Arsenal enjoyed a successful shopping trip to Lorient last summer, signing the impressive Matteo Guendouzi for £7m, and will hope that Claude-Maruice can provide similar value for money.
Claude-Maurice, who can play out wide or through the middle, would add much needed depth to Arsenal’s forward line. Danny Welbeck is set to depart on a free this summer following an injury-ravaged season, meaning backup is needed for strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gunners are also short in the wide areas, with Denis Suarez failing to impress during his 6-month loan spell. Claude-Maurice’s versatility and ability to play across the forward line would definitely give Emery another option on the flanks.
Arsenal are also in the market for a central defender, following injury to Rob Holding and the poor form of Shkodran Mustafi. The Premier League side have been linked with a number of defensive targets, including Roma’s Kostas Manolas.