Arsenal closing in on Romanian Star

Arsenal are looking to bolster their attacking options even further with the addition of Ciprian Marica.

Following the capture of Mesut Ozil on the final day of the transfer window in a recording breaking £42.5 million, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is set to return to the ways of old with the free capture of the Romanian striker.

The former Schalke 04 forward is a free agent following his release by the Bundesliga club during the summer and should he sign on at the Emirates, he would become the third Bosman of the summer for Wenger joining Mathieu Flamini and Yaya Sanogo.

Marica made his name with Dinamo Bucharest in his homeland before joining Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk in 2004.

In three season in the Ukraine Marica managed to score 22 goals in 113 games before moving to Stuggart. His goal/games ratio failed to improve following to move to Germany with the 27 year old netting 30 times in 133 games during a four year spell at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

In 2011 he joined Schalke, spurning the advances of clubs from England and France however in two seasons he has managed just 5 league goals.

The player, capped 63 times for the Romanian national team, has also been linked with Getafe but Marica’s representative Ioan Becali, Arsenal could be set to land the player as they look for experienced back up for main striker Oliver Giroud.

Becali said: “Marica is a really great striker who has already got experience in western European football and so it’s natural that big clubs are eyeing his career. He’s close to joining Arsenal, but we have to wait for the next week.”

Meanwhile record signing Ozil is set to make his highly anticipated début at the Stadium of Light.

Despite having only trained with his new side for 2 days the 24 year old is in line to start in the Gunners midfielder for the tricky trip away to Paulo Di Canio’s struggling Sunderland side after Tomas Rosicky returned from International duty with the Czech Republic injured.

Ozil is set to play behind the in-form Giroud with Welsh star Aaron Ramsey cementing his growing status as an integral part of the Gunners midfielder set to start alongside one of Jack Wilshere or Flamini.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.

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