Arsenal are set to be without £45million summer signing Gabriel Jesus until February with sporting director Edu Gaspar actively searching for a new attacker to add to Mikel Arteta’s squad.

Arsenal can use 'secret agent' to beat Chelsea and Man Utd to Joao Felix transfer.

Arsenal have a ‘secret agent’ they can use in negotiations to sign Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix on loan in January. The Gunners are in need of a new forward given Gabriel Jesus’ injury leaving Mikel Arteta’s attacking options weakened.

An injury to one of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah would leave Arsenal severely short in attack making a new forward a priority area to strengthen. Mykhaylo Mudyrk is the number one target for the Gunners who saw a £55million bid, including add-ons, rejected last week with talks set to continue, football.london understands.

Felix was on the north Londoners’ radar earlier last year but sporting director Edu Gaspar pursued a deal for Jesus ahead of the summer transfer window instead. The Portuguese forward now looks set to leave Atletico in January with his agent, Jorge Mendes, approaching a number of Premier League clubs with a loan proposal.

Felix maintains contact with his former Atletico team-mate Thomas Partey, who switched to the Emirates Stadium in October 2020. The Portugal international’s close relationship with the Arsenal midfielder could help the Gunners convince Felix if the move comes down to a personal choice, according to The Athletic.

The 23-year-old does have international teammates at United, but given Arsenal’s impressive season and Arteta’s attacking style of play it could give the north London outfit the upper hand in negotiations with the player. The Gunners view a loan deal for Felix as similar to that which saw Martin Odegaard sign until the end of the season from Real Madrid, before agreeing a permanent move in the following summer.

Odegaard has since became Arsenal captain and is enjoying the best football of his developing career. Felix may look at how the Norwegian playmaker has developed under Arteta and feel that he could make a similar progression as he looks to get his career back on track and seal a move away from Atleti in January.

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