Arsenal, Chelsea dealt major BLOW: Long-term target set to renew contract with Italian giants

Sankha Ghosh / 16 August 2016

Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Mauro Icardi.

The Inter Milan striker is understood to be on Arsene Wengers’ wishlist as he looks to land a marquee signing during the transfer window.

The Gunners are said to have held talks with his agent earlier this month, but according to Italian publication CalcioMercato, the Argentine is set to renew his contract at the San Siro.

The 23-year-old, who scored 16 goals in 29 appearances for Inter last season, has been linked with a move away from the San Siro all summer, with Arsenal reportedly chasing the talented striker.

However, newly-appointed Inter boss Frank de Boer has been quick to dismiss speculation, claiming that Icardi is ‘not for sale.’

However, yesterday there were reports that  his wife and agent Wanda Nara is set to travel to London to hold talks with the Gunners this week.

And Arsenal aren’t the only team Wanda Nara will speak to, with Chelsea also entering the race to sign the 23-year-old.

According to the Daily Star, Chelsea are prepared to use Diego Costa as a part-exchange in the deal, while Arsenal are in desperate need for a new forward, having lost their Premier League opener to Liverpool on Sunday.

Arsenal have failed in pursuits for the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata and Alexandre Lacazette, meaning that Icardi may be the final option if the Gunners want to strengthen before the end of the transfer window.

The young Argentinean forward scored an impressive 22 league goals last season and has followed that up with another 16 this campaign. He is starting to show consistency in his goal scoring and, at just 23-years-old, however he still has room to improve.

It must be said that Icardi is not a typical Wenger number nine.  The striker doesn’t pride himself on his link-up play, but instead builds his game around his instinctive finishing and positioning.

He is a decent height standing at 6ft and wins a respectable 41 per cent of his aerial duels.

Icardi is not known for his pace but is certainly a quicker option than Giroud and may thrive off the creativity from the likes of Mesut Ozil behind him.