Arsenal have made contact with Marseille over a possible move for Florian Thauvin, according to reports in Italy.

StadioSport write that up until now, Unai Emery’s focus was on strengthening the defence and midfield. Now, with Bernd Leno, Stephan Lichsteiner, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Lucas Torreira (almost) all joining the club, they claim the head coach’s attention is shifting to the attack.

According to the report, Emery ‘madly fell in love’ with Thauvin, and wants him as a key piece of his new project. Arsenal have made first contact with the French club over the player, but for now that’s as far things have gone.

Marseille would reportedly want up to €50m (£44.3m) to approve a sale. They aren’t keen on losing one of their stars, but are preparing for the eventuality of Thauvin’s departure nonetheless, in case the Arsenal management meet their demands.

Until last season, those demands would have seemed completely ridiculous, but Thauvin really came into his own in 2017/18. He scored 26 goals for Marseille in 54 appearances, and set up another 18. Even in the less competitive Ligue 1 that’s an impressive record.

As a result, the player got a call up to the France squad for the World Cup, and he’s still currently in Russia. When they eventually leave the tournament, perhaps there will be more progress on this front.