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21st Feb, 2017 | 10:53am

Reliable journalist: Arsenal set for talks with reported £44m-rated Serie A attacker

By Matt Farr

Arsenal have sent scouts to watch Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne in action and are set for talks ahead of a possible summer move, according to a reliable journalist.

Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira revealed on his personal Twitter account on Monday night that Arsenal scouts had watched the 25-year-old against Chievo, where he netted a goal and an assist.

He also added that the Gunners were set to open talks with the Italian forward, who has long been linked with a move to the Premier League.

Title rivals Liverpool were reportedly keen to sign Insigne last year, but they were put off by Napoli’s whopping £44million asking-price.

The Italian club are likely to demand a similar figure from Arsenal if they want to stand any chance of landing the Serie A phenomenon in the summer.

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Insigne has been in exceptional form for Napoli this season, contributing nine goals and eight assists from 33 appearances in all competitions, including four goals in his last seven games.

He will still have two years remaining on his contract at the end of the season, but that is not likely to deter Arsenal from making a move.

Football Insider verdict

If scouts were present during Napoli’s 3-1 win over Chievo, and witnessed Insigne bag a goal and an assist, then the Italian likely passed the audition. The ongoing debate over the long-term futures of star attacking duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez means Arsenal may be forced to find new top-class talent to fill their shoes, and Insigne would be a fantastic choice. The left-wing is arguably Arsenal’s weakest attacking position at the moment, with the jury still out on youngster Alex Iwobi. Insigne would bring pace and power to the Gunners forward play, and his contribution in front of goal could also be pivotal. £44million may seem like a lot of money, but to get players of his quality you need to stump up the big cash. Plus, it’s not as if Arsenal don’t have the money.

In other Arsenal transfer news, Olivier Giroud has been shortlisted by this top European club.

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