By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
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Arsenal have compiled a four-man striker shortlist after receiving the devastating news that Danny Welbeck will miss most of next season, according to a report.
The Gunners are ready to accelerate their search for a new front man after scans confirmed on Wednesday that Welbeck has a ruptured knee cartilage and faces nine months in rehabilitation.
The Telegraph report that Arsenal are keeping close tabs on four strikers as they accept they need reinforcements for a forward line that has struggled for goals in this calendar year.
It is said Juventus’ Alvaro Morata, AZ AAlkmaar’s Vincent the Janssen, Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi and Lille’s Sehrou Guirassy are being scouted by Arsene Wenger’s recruitment team.
Arsenal manager Wenger has also been made aware of the likely availability this summer of Sweden all-time great Zlatan Ibrahimovic, although the Paris Saint-Germain talisman would have to take a major wage cut to move to Emirates Stadium.
The loss of Welbeck, who has missed most of this season with an injury to his other knee, comes amid doubts over the London club’s other two main strikers Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, who have scored just give League goals between them in 2016.
Meanwhile, as revealed by Football Insider on Tuesday, Arsenal have stepped up their bid to sign midfield sensation Granit Xhaka in a £65million deal.
The Gunners are willing to pay £34million for the central midfielder as well as hand him a five-year, £120,000-a-week contract.
Arsenal are in pole position to land the Borussia Mochengladbach midfielder as they target a proven player who can dominate in the middle of the park.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners are expected to field a £25million offer this week for one of their star names.