Luis Enrique, the man who will replace Gerardo Martino at Barcelona, may have just taken care of Arsene Wenger’s striker dilemma for him.
Enrique wants to transform the look of Barcelona’s attack, using long term Arsenal target Fernando Llorente as his straight up number nine.
Llorente had a very respectable strike rate in Serie A, Champions League and Europa League football last season for the Italian champions with 18 goals in 44 appearances.
Arsenal were linked with the Spaniard frequently last season, with the mention of a possible loan deal just before and during the winter transfer window, as Wenger looked to beef up his attacking options.
Barcelona’s interest could alert the Frenchman to his availability and prompt the Gunners into making a bid for a player that Wenger has been watching for a decent period of time.
It’s no secret that Wenger needs to improve his attacking options after last season.
Olivier Giroud was by no means abysmal but when his form dipped, the Gunners lacked attacking options and Wenger’s hands were tied in terms of what he could do to freshen up his attack.
There’s been much debate over the calibre and type of player that Arsenal need to come into their attack this summer, but Llorente could inject a real physical presence at the top of Arsenal’s team.
Some very high profile names have been linked with Arsenal moves and some big transfer fees have been mentioned.
However, with Llorente, there is a real chance that Barcelona’s interest could signal the player’s availability and Arsenal have as good a chance as any other side of signing the Spanish international.
Arsenal can also offer him the prospect of just as much football as he’d likely get at the Nou Camp, although Wenger may prefer to give Giroud the chance to lead the frontline at the start of the next campaign, which would work against the North Londoners.
Reports last season also suggested that he was open to a move to the Gunners, a slick pass and move side suited to the basic traits and qualities that Llorente possesses.
Whether the tall Spaniard becomes Wenger's new striker for next season, we'll just have to wait and see.