Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta decides ‘top priority’ between Osimhen and Toney

Four potential transfer targets for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal

Arsenal have reportedly placed Victor Osimhen at the top of their transfer wish list, leaving Ivan Toney’s prospective move to north London in doubt. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta may need to invest in firepower to keep pace with Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham as the race for Premier League supremacy heats up.

Mid-season improvements as costly as Osimhen or Toney could be a stretch too far for the Londoners. But Arteta and sporting director Edu are believed to have defined their priorities ahead of a big move in the summer.

According to LondonWorld, Osimhen has emerged as Arsenal’s main striker target. The Napoli man is valued at around £125million, which drastically exceeds Toney’s £80m price tag, but his contract situation suggests that a deal is there to be done.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis recently suggested as much, citing the club’s sale of Kalidou Koulibaly to Chelsea when they risked losing him for free.

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“I have never been unhappy towards Osimhen, but there are always two of us in these things,” he said. “I have remained the same, if his mood has changed [over a new deal] I can’t do anything about it.

“If things change after a handshake, it’s disappointing, we take note of it but then life goes on. There are excellent relations with him, the contract expires in 2025, there is time. Don’t forget that I sold Koulibaly [to Chelsea] a year before his contract expired.”

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Osimhen scored 31 goals in all competitions last season as Napoli ended three decades without a Serie A title. And the Nigerian international has started the current campaign in similarly impressive form, netting six times in nine league appearances.

Toney, meanwhile, is serving an eight-month ban for breaching the FA’s betting rules. The 27-year-old will return to action in January, and he has made no secret of his desire to test himself at the highest level possible.

Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah are already battling it out for first-team minutes up top at the Emirates Stadium. But with only six Premier League goals between them, Arteta could hardly be blamed for wanting more.

A lack of potency almost cost the Gunners against Brentford on Saturday, until Kai Havertz emerged from the bench, nodded in at the back post and became the unlikely hero in a 1-0 victory.

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