may well encounter stern rivals in their bid to capture Dutch goalscorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

The Gunners have been admirers of the prolific frontman for several years now but Manchester City have now expressed their interest to sign the striker according to reports.

Also seeking to hijack the Gunners’ bid for Huntelaar are Italian sides Lazio and Juventus but the player himself has chosen to remain silent on his future with Schalke. The 29-year-old will see his contract in Germany expire this summer after refusing to sign an extension and so Schalke are now desperate to cash in on the former Real Madrid man, pricing him at £6 million.

That cheap price tag has attracted interest around Europe for Huntelaar ahead of the January transfer window, and Roberto Mancini is now believed to be eying a bid for the Dutchman after witnessing the goal-rate of Aguero, Tevez and Dzeko drop.

City’s boss is believed to be now in search of a striker particularly to replace Mario Balotelli after the Italian’s dour performance in the Manchester derby yesterday epitomized a frustrating season.

But the plan of the high-paying blues to enter the race for Huntelaar could be a huge blow for Arsenal even though ex-Liverpool striker Erik Meyer, who worked with Huntelaar’s agent during his playing days, has touted Arsenal as favourites to land the goalscorer.

Huntelaar’s agent Arnoldus Oosterveer himself has refused to comment on speculation about his client’s future.

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