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Arsenal can sign midfielder rated £25 million two years ago on the cheap

Arsenal have been linked with signing a midfielder from Serie A relegated side Palermo.

Just as Arsenal dispatched Wigan to the depths of relegation earlier this week, over in Italy a talented Palermo side also saw their prospects of top flight football evaporate.

With Serie B football on the horizon and the reduced financial package which comes with that, the club's top players are likely to leave.

One of these is Josip Ilicic, who Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini admitted would be sold.

He has this week been linked with signing for Arsenal, with the Express reporting the Gunners have 'staked their interest' in the player.

This week Zamparini said: "Josip Ilicic is a player for big clubs so I really doubt that he will stay with us. We will have to talk of course but he has already told me that he will leave if he gets an offer from a big club. And I don't doubt that he will get one."

The Slovenian midfielder is 25-years-old, and just two years ago he was valued at £25 million by his club.

As this report from 2011 shows, Arsenal were then credited with an interest in Ilicic, but the price tag back then put them off, along with Chelsea and Spurs.

So what do the fans of the Gunners need to know about Ilicic ahead of any potential move? Here are five facts...

1) Ilicic is a playmaker who ideally plays as an attacking 'trequartista' behind the strikers, but like Swansea's Michu he has the versatility to also perform as a main frontman.

2) Despite Palermo's relegation this season he scored 10 goals in Serie A, as many as champions Juventus' highest scoring striker, Mirko Vucinic.

3) He is a full Slovenian international with 22 caps to his name, but missed out on playing in the 2010 World Cup.

4) He cost Palermo just £2.3 million in 2010, and has gone onto playu more than 100 games for them, scoring more than 25 goals.

5) Ilicic has an unusual good luck charm. Before every game he says he 'warms up his boots' with a hairdryer. (source)

Check him out in action below...

Is he a player Arsenal could do with? How much should their top offer be? 

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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