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Arsenal step up chase for striker ahead of new season

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger remains determined to a sign a striker this summer, with talks for Alexandre Lacazette and Alvaro Morata ongoing.

Wenger was said to be disappointed when Jamie Vardy rejected the opportunity to join the Gunners after his release clause was activated but has since turned his attention to Lyon striker Lacazette and Real Madrid man Morata.

Olivier Giroud, who held talks with Wenger over his future before the start of Euro 2016, will go into next season as the club's first-choice striker and the Frenchman's main aim during the summer transfer window is to find a player who can compete with the 29-year-old.

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Italy star Morata rejoined Real Madrid from Juventus a month ago and is expected to be sold on for profit during the next few weeks. Chelsea remain the favourites for his signature but Arsenal are monitoring the situation closely after Madrid set their asking price at €50m.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg full-back Ricardo Rodriguez has been looked at as a potential defensive acquisition after impressing for Switzerland at Euro 2016. Wenger is keen to line up long-term replacements for Nacho Monreal and Per Mertesacker, who are both now in their 30s.

The bulk of Arsenal's first-team squad returned to training earlier this week ahead of the new Premier League season. Wenger's side will travel to the USA, Sweden and Norway before their league opener against Liverpool on August 13.