£70m striker merry-go-round to leave Arsenal odd men out?

Emirates Inside

Arsenal are desperate to land a top striker this summer, but will they miss out on two top candidates to fill the void?

Last summer Arsenal's push to sign strikers saw them pursue two of the top goalscorers in European football. Yet ultimately they came back without Luis Suarez or Gonzalo Higuain, with only free Ligue 2 youngster Yaya Sanogo to add to the squad.

Months later, Sanogo is yet to score a Premier League goal, and the club are preparing for another summer search for a forward.

The hope is this time they will be more decisive and more successful, but reports at present indicate that two top options may be heading elsewhere.

Both Diego Costa and Jackson Martinez have been touted as possible solutions for the Gunners, scoring more than 50 goals combined this season so far. Valued at around £35 million each, the pair are not bargain options this summer.

When it comes to Costa, it is rivals Chelsea who are said to be in pole position for his signature, with Goal reporting that the Blues they are to open talks with Atletico Madrid over a move as soon as next week.

Should Jose Mourinho land the freescoring forward, it would be a blow almost as significant over Arsenal as the 6-0 victory last weekend, and the Gunners would have to make some impressive moves to top such an acquisition.

Jackson Martinez then? Not so fast. Reports on the continent have claimed Atletico themselves are lining up the Porto man as a replacement for Costa.

Such a move would not be unlikely. Atletico have spent big in recent seasons to replace departed strikers, namely signing Falcao from Porto in what would be a precursor to this transfer, to fill the shoes of Sergio Aguero.

Martinez is only likely to be told positive things about life at Atletico by Colombian international teammate Falcao, who now plays at Monaco.

Such a transfer merry-go-round, would leave Arsenal from the outside looking in, seeing two of the top strikers in European football taken off the market.

Can the Gunners afford to let it happen? That will depend how many other tricks they have up their sleeve, but how many fans are willing to wait until deadline day to see if the club can pull a rabbit out of the hat once again?

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