Arsenal eye Alexander Isak and Michael Olise in search for striker and winger | Arsenal


Arsenal are targeting a striker and winger in the summer to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s squad after their hopes of reaching a first Champions League semi-final since 2009 were ended by Bayern Munich.

Successive defeats against Aston Villa and Bayern have left Arsenal’s chances of silverware this season relying on Manchester City slipping up in the Premier League title race with six games to play after Arteta’s side finished as runners-up last year. There have been signs of ­progress since more than £200m was spent last summer on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurriën Timber but the owner, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), recognises that Arteta’s squad needs significant strengthening to help them take the next step.

It is understood that ­Newcastle’s striker Alexander Isak is one of the primary targets. He could cost about £100m and was heavily scouted by Arsenal before his move to St James’ Park in August 2022 for an initial £63m. ­Arsenal have also been ­heavily linked with Isak’s Sweden teammate Viktor Gyökeres, who has scored 36 goals this season for ­Sporting in ­Portugal after joining from ­Coventry last year and has an £86m buyout clause. The Juventus and Serbia striker Dusan Vlahovic could be another alternative but Arsenal’s interest is believed to have cooled in Brentford’s Ivan Toney.

Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise, who signed a new four-year contract in August after turning down Chelsea, is understood to be a potential ­target after impressing Arsenal’s scouting department despite making only nine Premier League starts this campaign owing to injury. The France Under-21 ­forward’s contract includes a release clause that comes into effect in the summer and is understood to be in the region of £65m. He is also being heavily tracked by Manchester City and Manchester United among others.

Arsenal must take care not to fall foul of the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules but the club’s sporting director, Edu, is expected to be given a similar budget to last year’s by the non-executive director Josh Kroenke. KSE reported a £2.3bn increase in its value ­compared with the previous year after the ­success of its various teams across several sports, including the Denver Nuggets basketball franchise that won a first NBA title last year.

Arsenal intend to rally around Arteta’s squad after their difficult week. The captain, Martin Ødegaard, said the players were devastated after losing 1-0 in the second leg to Bayern and had to use that disappointment as motivation when they face Wolves on Saturday.

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“It takes a little bit to get going again, but I think what you play for in the league is enough motivation for all of us,” Ødegaard said. “So we just have to stick together, get back up and keep pushing. We can still do something very special. I think that is enough motivation.”

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