According to The Daily Mail, the Gunners are tracking Udinese forward Luis Muriel who has been referred to as the Colombian Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 20-year-old has been making a name for himself on loan with the struggling Italian side Lecce this season, with a host of Europe’s elite clubs linked with the starlet including Arsenal.
According to reports, Muriel is currently in the process of applying for a Spanish passport, which would prevent having to gain a work permit to play in England which is often a determining factor for English clubs.
The £8million-rated forward has yet to gain a full international cap but did performed well at the Under 20 World Cup last year, scoring four goals as he impressed scouts. Meanwhile he has netted five times for Lecce this season including a sensational finish against Italian Giants Inter Milan (see video below).
The forward has been compared to the Real Madrid star Christiano Ronaldo with the Columbian’s fast, memorizing dribbling with the finish to boot. He also has the physical attributes to succeed at the highest level, and could well succeed in England if Arsenal make a move for the highly rated striker.
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The likes of Barcelona and a whole host of Italian sides such as AC Milan, Juventus and Roma have all shown interest in the Udinese star that joined the Italian side less than two years ago for a bargain fee of £1.25m, and they are likely to demand a fee in the region of £8m with former club Deportivo Cali still owning 30 per cent of his rights.
It would be a typical Wenger buy this summer, with the Frenchman admitting that there is a need for more forwards at the North London club especially with the likes of Bendtner, Vela and Chamakh set to make inevitable departures. His price tag is relatively cheap especially for a player that has first team experience with Lecce and has the potential to become a big player. Wenger has Joel Campbell too that is on loan who he will hope will acquire a work permit, so will Arsene purchase another young striker once he buys Lukas Podolski? I think he might do, especially if Muriel can play out wide too, imagine if Arsenal have a Colombian Christiano Ronaldo one day!
Luis Muriel Video: