Arsenal can land extraordinary swap deal as Napoli ‘target Gunners star’

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Arsenal might be able to land a blockbuster swap deal with Napoli reportedly targeting Gabriel Jesus. It is claimed that the reigning Serie A champions have identified Jesus as part of a three-man shortlist to replace Victor Osimhen if the Nigerian departs. 

Osimhen is yet to decide on signing a new contract with the Naples outfit. The 24-year-old has just two years remaining on his current deal. 

A failure to convince the 24-year-old to pen fresh terms before next season could risk Napoli seeing him run down his contract in its final year. The Italian giants would then lose one of their most lucrative assets for free. 

But they might be able to complete a stunning swap deal with Arsenal after their three-man shortlist emerged. According to Italian publication Calciomercato, Arsenal star Jesus has been earmarked as a possible replacement for Osimhen, alongside Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata and Lille’s Jonathan David. 

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But Napoli do not need to worry about their other targets as they could offer Osimhen in a player-exchange deal for Jesus instead. Arsenal are desperate to sign an elite centre-forward having seen their attackers struggle in front of goal over the last few years. 

Osimhen would be a major upgrade on Arsenal’s current options for the position. Jesus’s inconsistent form and injuries since his £45m switch from Manchester City in 2022 has frustrated fans. Eddie Nketiah has also struggled for regular goals when he has been given opportunities. 

Signing Osimhen would help Arsenal properly challenge City and Liverpool for the Premier League title. Every champion in recent memory has possessed a forward who scores regularly – a profile Arsenal lack, with Bukayo Saka shouldering much of the burden last season. 

Mikel Arteta does not quite agree, believing that sharing the goals around is also important. The Spaniard does not want to sign a new striker in January, but could possibly be tempted by a move for Osimhen if the Napoli star becomes available. 

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“There’s various ways to score goals and we are scoring goals. But we should have scored many more with the chances we have created,” Arteta said in September. 

Asked about a new striker pursuit in January, he continued: “We’re not thinking at all about that. We have really good players up front. It’s true that right now we have some injuries. We will continue with the players we have.”

Osimhen fired Napoli to their first league title in three decades last season, bagging 31 goals in all competitions. Scoring those goals for Arsenal could help the North Londoners topple City’s domestic dominance. 

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