Arsenal not likely to make striker signing in transfer window

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not expected to sign a striker this month, the Daily Telegraph has reported, instead laying the groundwork for moves in the summer transfer window.

It had been suggested that Wenger could enter the market after Theo Walcott was ruled out for the season with a knee ligament injury suffered in the FA Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur, but a lack of available targets has left Wenger plotting more long-term.

Wenger did enquire about taking Alvaro Morata on loan from Real Madrid for the rest of the season but his Madrid counterpart, Carlo Ancelotti, has been adamant no players will leave the Santiago Bernabeu this month and repeated as much.

Walcott would have been an option for Wenger as a central attacker to ease the burden on Olivier Giroud and account for the injury-enforced absence of Nicklas Bendtner, and while Wenger will continue to explore a temporary solution, the manager’s real aim is to identify a summer signing.

The newspaper adds that Wenger has been pushed into thinking of the summer window as the release clauses in the contracts of targets such as Jackson Martinez and Diego Costa do not apply mid-season. Martinez, the Porto forward, can leave for £33m and Costa can depart Atletico for £31.4m, but not until the summer.

Martinez moved to Porto in the summer of 2012 and this season has scored 14 goals in 20 games for the Portuguese giants, while Costa has 23 goals in 21 appearances this season for title-chasing Atletico.

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