Transfer news: Arsenal move for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata set to be blocked by Carlo Ancelotti

Arsène Wenger is looking to buy a striker after Theo Walcott ruptured a knee ligament on Saturday

Arsenal are facing frustration in their attempts to lure Alvaro Morata away from Real Madrid as they seek to solve their striking crisis.

With Theo Walcott ruled out for the rest of the season with a ruptured knee ligament sustained against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, and Nicklas Bendtner also out for a month, Arsenal's only available forwards are an unfit Lukas Podolski and an over-worked Olivier Giroud.

Arsène Wenger's side are currently top of the Premier League table, in the fourth round of the FA Cup and the last 16 of the Champions League. The second half of the season will be intense and they certainly need reinforcements this month.

Wenger is known to be keen on Morata, Real Madrid's 21-year-old Spanish centre-forward, who has found first-team opportunities limited this season under Carlo Ancelotti, starting just once in La Liga and not at all in the Champions League.

Real Madrid are also fighting in three competitions, though, with a Copa del Rey game against Osasuna tomorrow, and Ancelotti does not want to let any first-team players leave in January.

Last week, Morata created the only goal for Jese in Madrid's 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in Doha. He is highly thought of, and won the golden boot as part of the victorious Spain sides at the European Under-19 Championship in 2011 and the Under-21 Championship in 2013.

Arsenal may also need to call on more of their youngsters to fill the breach. The 18-year-old German winger Serge Gnabry was excellent against Tottenham, creating Santi Cazorla's opening goal, and is surely due for more appearances on the right wing this season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who returned to full training on Monday, will need games with the under-21s to return to fitness but will then provide a fast option out wide.

The 18-year-old striker Chuba Akpom, who is an England Under-19 international and star of Arsenal's Under-21s, was due to go on loan to League One side Brentford before the move was put on hold, although Brentford remain hopeful of doing a deal until the end of the season.

Akpom, who scored a hat-trick in the FA Youth Cup on Monday, has already made two substitute appearances for the first team this season. He and Park Chu-young will act as back-up for Giroud and Podolski for the near future.

Arsenal's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Coventry City has been moved to the evening of Friday 24 January, and will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there