Marica 'close to joining Arsenal', claims agent

The striker is a free agent after leaving Schalke at the end of the last season, and his representative, Ioan Becali, has revealed a move could be in the offing "next week"
Former Schalke striker Ciprian Marica is set to join Arsenal on a free transfer, according to the player's agent.

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Arsene Wenger failed with big-money pursuits of both Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain during the summer window, before smashing the Gunners' transfer record with the £42 million capture of midfielder Mesut Ozil.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho also blocked a loan switch for Demba Ba to the Emirates Stadium on deadline day, leaving Wenger with limited options up front, but Marica's agent, Ioan Becali, insists his client is close to a move.

"He's close to joining Arsenal, but we have to wait for the next week," Becali told

"Marica is a really great striker who has already got experience in western European football and so it's natural that big clubs are eyeing his career."

Marica left Schalke at the end of last season after notching just five league goals during a two-year spell.