Work permit problems stall Traore transfer

CFR Cluj striker Lacina Traore will not be joining Arsenal until the summer at the earliest due to work permit problems, according to reports.

The 19-year-old CFR Cluj striker - dubbed the 'new Emmanuel Adebayor' - stands at an astonishing 6ft 8in, and has netted five times in 18 league appearances since arriving from Stade d'Abidjan.

After several eye-catching performances in Romania, Emirates Stadium supremo Arsene Wenger was believed to be ready to take a gamble on the Ivorian youngster to ease his striker crisis, teaming him up with fellow countryman Emmanuel Eboue in North London.

However, any transfer for Traore is now thought to be not possible until the end of the campaign, with work permit restrictions likely to prevent the starlet from becoming a Gunner during the January window.

“I have been in touch with one scout from Arsenal. I can confirm that it is true that they are interested in Lacina, but they will not make an offer during the January transfer window for him," the player's representitive told

“His work permit is an issue for England, and this is the reason Arsenal will not be pursuing him in January. But the summer is different. However in Italy this isn’t a problem.”

Cluj president Iuliu Muresan had previously confirmed that Arsenal are interested in Traore.

While the striker himself admitted he would relish the opportunity to run out for the Gunners.

"It would be a dream for me to get to play on a team so great. I have a chance there because Arsene Wenger relies heavily on young players," he said.

"The Ivory Coast coach has already told me I will get my chance with the national team, but my chances of that happening would certainly increase if I was to join a big team like Arsenal.

"It is sensational to hear Wenger is watching me. I could be a success in England."

Arsenal continue to be linked with strikers after losing both Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner through injury.

Bordeaux forward Marouane Chamakh, West Ham striker Carlton Cole, Toulouse talisman Andres-Pierre Gignac, Dinamo Zagreb's Mario Mandzukic and Racing Santander starlet Sergio Canales are all reportedly on Wenger's wish-list.

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