By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Arsenal are targeting a statement signing for the third consecutive summer as they plan an £80million recruitment drive, Football Insider sources understand.

Arsene Wenger wants a ‘special’ player to catapult his team to the next level and help them challenge strongly for next season’s Premier League title.

The two positions Wenger has identified for a major signing are behind the main striker and in central midfield.

Arsenal have the funds in place to make another big splash in this year’s market and are prepared to follow the landmark signings of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez over the two previous summers with another high profile capture.

As revealed by Football Insider, the London club are in the market for a ‘special forward player’ who can play in any of the front three positions and in the No10 role behind the spearhead.

With growing doubts about the future of Theo Walcott, they are monitoring the situations of the likes of Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus, Schalke’s Julian Draxler and Liverpool contract rebel Raheem Sterling, and are prepared to spend around £40m-plus on the right player.

Arsenal had been working on a deal for Palermo striker Paulo Dybala but would not pay more than £20m for the 21-year-old Argentine striker, who has agreed to join Juventus.

The Gunners are also in the market for a major midfield signing, with the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton and Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho on their radar.