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Arsenal, Newcastle United 'send scouts to watch Porto striker'

Arsenal, Newcastle 'send scouts to watch Porto striker'
© Reuters
Arsenal and Newcastle United apparently send scouts to watch Porto attacker Evanilson, who has netted 22 goals across all competitions this season.

Arsenal and Newcastle United reportedly deployed scouts to keep tabs on Porto attacker Evanilson over the weekend.

The 24-year-old leads the way at the top of the Dragons' scoring charts with an impressive 22 strikes in 35 matches during the 2023-24 campaign, in addition to providing six assists.

Four of Evanilson's strikes came in the Champions League, including a hat-trick against Royal Antwerp, before Porto were eliminated by Arsenal on penalties in the last 16.

As well as also notching 11 Primeira Liga goals, the Brazilian has shone in the Taca de Portugal with a remarkable seven goals in four matches, helping Sergio Conceicao's team reach the semi-finals.

Arsenal were already believed to have been interested in a summer deal for Evanilson, and it appears that the Gunners have now ramped up their interest in signing the Porto man in the upcoming window.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on March 31, 2024© Reuters

Evanilson fails to impress in front of scouts

According to HITC, both Arsenal and Newcastle sent representatives to run the rule over Evanilson during the Easter weekend, when Porto travelled to face Estoril in a Primeira Liga battle.

The South American had scored a hat-trick against Estoril in January's Taca de Portugal last-16 clash, but he was nullified alongside the rest of Conceicao's men in a surprise 1-0 defeat on Saturday.

In a contest marred by three red cards - two of which went to Porto - Evanilson also picked up a booking and missed one big chance in a forgettable display, where he had just 31 touches of the ball throughout the 90 minutes.

One underwhelming outing is unlikely to deter Arsenal and Newcastle's interest in moving for the former Fluminense man, though, as he has otherwise proven a competent player for Conceicao both domestically and continentally.

As well as Evanilson, the two Premier League sides are also said to have been keeping tabs on midfielder Alan Varela, who earned numerous plaudits for his dynamic display against Arsenal in the Champions League last 16.

What other strikers are Arsenal targeting this summer?

Napoli's Victor Osimhen celebrates scoring their first goal on February 21, 2024© Reuters

Despite possessing the most potent attack in the Premier League, a new striker has been on Arsenal's wishlist for some time, with Gabriel Jesus struggling to stay fit and Eddie Nketiah only a bit-part player this season.

Kai Havertz's recent purple patch has eased Mikel Arteta's number nine concerns, but the Gunners will move for a new marquee striker regardless and are said to have drawn up a 10-man shortlist.

Among the possible candidates are Sporting Lisbon's Viktor Gyokeres, Napoli's Victor Osimhen and Brentford's Ivan Toney, although Arsenal's interest in the latter has seemingly cooled in recent weeks.

Alternative options include Newcastle United's Alexander Isak, Feyenoord's Santiago Gimenez and RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko, all three of whom could prove to be less pricey than Gyokeres and Osimhen, who could command over £100m to leave their current clubs this summer.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on February 21, 2024
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Arsenal 'draw up 10-man striker shortlist'
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