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Arsenal will re-double their efforts to sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata on a season-long loan this week.

Theo Walcott’s devastating knee injury, coupled with Nicklas Bendtner’s long-term ankle problem has left manager Arsene Wenger with no apparent choice but to sign a new centre-forward this month.

The Gunners would rather complete a short-term deal for a new forward this month, unless one of their top targets are available, in a bid to avoid burdening their wage bill with a player who may not necessarily be a regular starter next season.

Wenger sees Morata as the perfect stop-gap between now and the end of the season, but Real have informed the Gunners that the talented striker is not available on a permanent or temporary basis.

But Arsenal remain in contact with Madrid chiefs and are hoping for a significant breakthrough.

Arsenal have already begun formulating contingency plans should their attempts to persuade the Spanish giants to part with Morata fail.

Gunners scouts have started compiling a shortlist of potential solutions to help take the burden off Olivier Giroud before the transfer window closes.

Despite the club’s lack of central strikers, Wenger was expecting a quiet January transfer window, feeling Bendtner, Walcott and Lukas Podolski could all cover for Giroud.

But the injuries to Walcott and Bendtner have forced Arsenal, who welcomed back long-term injury absentee Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to full training yesterday, to rethink their strategy.

Wenger’s preference is to spend on one of his top strike targets, including Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic, Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa.

But the club know landing one of their preferred options would be virtually impossible this month, which has forced the Gunners to go down a different route.

Arsenal remain determined not to panic buy despite their obvious need to sign a new striker, but the fact the club’s scouting network have begun looking at short-term alternatives suggests Wenger is ready to spend this month.

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