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Arsenal 'close' to free agent forward who scored just three Bundesliga goals last season

A report in Romania has linked Arsenal to striker Ciprian Marica.

Arsenal have been linked with several players this summer by newspapers home and abroad, and a new name has now raised it's head.

A report in Romania has claimed the Gunners are 'close' to signing Ciprian Marica, a 27-year-old striker born in Bucharest.

The player's agent Ioan Becali, is the same one who has been pushing a Spurs move for defender Vlad Chichires, who said:

"It is near Arsenal, we'll see this week. Marica is a very good striker, Romania's national player who has Western big football experience. It's normal to be in big clubs viewfinder, the more since remained free after he signed the contract with Schalke 04."

Marica is a free agent, and you suspect his own agent is getting increasingly edgy in trying to find him a club.

He is a versatile attacker, capable of playing behind the striker or out wide, but spent last season as a centre-forward for Schalke, where he plays for the Romanian national team.

He has 61 international caps for Romania, and 21 goals, but 2012/13 was not a satisfactory one for him at club level.

He scored just three Bundesliga goals, making just eight starts, as injuries played havoc with his campaign. Three more in the German Cup took his overall tally to just six.

He did finish it on a high for his country, bagging a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in June.

Marica's Bundesliga return was an improvement on his first season for Schalke, where he scored just two in 21 appearances, both in one game against Lukas Podolski's Cologne, who also scored in the game.

How 'close' Arsenal are to Marica, we remain sceptical for now.

The Gunners do need a striker, but the Romanian sadly appears to fit into the Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young category, not an improvement on players already available.

It sounds like just agent talk to us, but it is one to be aware of nonetheless. But fans should not get too excited, even if a deal were to go through.

Check him out in action below...

Do you want Marica at Arsenal? 

image: © samlkelly

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