Sunday, 26th June, 2011

Arsenal are closing in on Velez Sarsfield attacking midfielder Ricardo Alvarez.

The 23-year-old Argentine had been attracting attention from Serie A side Palermo, but the Italian club’s president has revealed that the left-footed schemer is on his way to the Emirates.

"He will not come", said Maurizio Zamparini to L’Equipe, "he’s agreed to go to Arsenal."

However, despite the player’s excitement at a move to the Emirates, Arsenal are still thought to have not yet agreed a fee with Velez.

The Argentine schemer has begun 2011 in blistering form for Velez, showing that the effects of a cruciate knee ligament injury in 2008 have been well and truly shaken off and becoming a key part of El Fortin’s plans.

The arrival of Alvarez at the Gunners will inevitably raise question marks over the future of midfielder Cesc Fabregas, though boss Arsene Wenger is not thought to view the 23-year-old as a direct replacement for the Spaniard.

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