MIKEL ARTETA is said to be interested in taking Real Madrid striker Luka Jovicon loan.

The Gunners are preparing for life without want-away forward Alexandre Lacazette who's only got eight months left on his contract.

Despite the Frenchman coming to the end of his current deal, the Gunners still haven't offered him an extension.

Lacazette could leave for free in January and Arteta has already lined up his replacement in the form of Real flop Jovic, the Express report.

The Spaniard claims he has no plans to let Lacazette leave before his contract ends.

When quizzed about the ex-Lyon forward's future, Arteta stated: “We just have to try to deal with the issues we face in the best possible way, but there are no plans for Laca to leave us in January.

“He is our player and I will continue to treat him like everyone else no matter how long he has left on his contract because that’s what he deserves.”

Jovic has had a tough time in Madrid, scoring just twice in 38 games for the La Liga giants.

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But aged 23, the Serbian can still turn things around and Arteta reckons he can help him rediscover the form that saw him score 40 goals in 93 appearances for Eintracht Frankfurt.

However, the Gunners could face stiff competition from Prem rivals Liverpool who are also aware of Jovic's unearthed potential.

The Reds are dealing with their own contract rebel, Mo Salah, who is yet to agree a new deal with the club.

The Egyptian's deal ends in 2023 and he's demanding a hefty fee of £450,000-a-week to remain at Anfield.

But Jurgen Klopp's side want to pay him a lot less, and if they can't convince Salah to stay, Jovic has been earmarked as one of the stars who can partially fill the void the winger would leave.

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