Arsenal want Real Madrid striker Morata to step in during Walcott’s absence

Arsenal want to sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata on loan to compensate for losing England international Theo Walcott for the rest of the season, reports Daily Mail.

Morata would also ease some of the pressure from Nicklas Bendtner’s absence, and would give Arsenal an extra attacking option in the event of the Dane’s return to full fitness. It is not believed that manager Arsene Wenger is particularly keen on signing the player on a permanent basis, as he hopes to bring in more long-term signings in the summer and so does not want to add a player to the wage bill unless they are likely to feature regularly in the 2014-15 campaign.

A short-term deal, or ideally a loan transfer, however, would be of particular interest, and of course such an arrangement could give the Spain U-21 international a chance to change the Frenchman’s mind and convince him to offer a more permanent move, and so could safeguard the Gunners for all eventualities.

Real Madrid, however, are not keen on letting the former Getafe youth star leave the club – either on a temporary or permanent basis. The Gunners remain in contact about a possible deal, but unless the Spaniards give way and allow a deal to go through it seems unlikely that Morata will move to the Emirates at this time – and the Gunners have contingency plans in place should this prove the case.

Walcott’s injury against Tottenham in the FA Cup at the weekend means that only Lukas Podolski is around to take the goalscoring burden off of Olivier Giroud, and Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic, Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa have all been linked.

All three look likely to remain with their current clubs, however, and so Arsenal face something of a quandary – forcing their hand into looking at shorter term deals in the hopes of being able to tempt one of their primary targets in the summer.

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