Barcelona and Arsenal are embroiled in a transfer battle for Alexander Isak, with the Gunners leading the race to sign the 22-year-old Real Sociedad striker.

According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Arsenal and Barcelona are the chief contenders to secure the services of Alexander Isak in the summer transfer window, with the Gunners in pole position to sign him. The 22-year-old striker has a €90 million release clause in his Real Sociedad contract.

Alexander Isak joined Real Sociedad from Borussia Dortmund in July 2019 and has since improved by leaps and bounds. Now widely regarded as one of the best young strikers in La Liga, the Swedish international is a regular fixture for club and country.

To date, the 22-year-old has made 110 appearances for Real Sociedad, amassing 40 goals and seven assists in the process. Isak’s progress has not gone unnoticed, with some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Barcelona and Arsenal, setting their sights on him.

Barcelona’s priority for the summer transfer window is to sign Erling Haaland. However, with several other European bigwigs also courting the Borussia Dortmund star, Barcelona will need to keep their options open when searching for strikers after the end of the season, with Isak emerging as an alternative.

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The eagerness to sign a striker for the second successive summer stems from Sergio Aguero’s premature retirement. The Argentine legend has been forced to hang up his boots due to a heart ailment that prevents him from taking the field again. Aguero’s predicament leaves Xavi Hernandez with Martin Braithwaite and Luuk de Jong as the only natural centre-forwards at his disposal.

With neither striker being reliable as a regular option, it behoves Barcelona to invest in a striker who can be a long-term solution at the tip of their attacking unit. To that end, Isak is a viable target for Barcelona, who face stiff competition from Arsenal in the race to sign the 22-year-old.

The interest from Arsenal is understandable, considering Alexandre Lacazette could depart the Emirates as a free agent in the summer. In addition, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been frozen out of the first-team picture since being stripped of the captaincy by Mikel Arteta. Signing a striker is a priority for Arsenal, with Isak a key target.

Signing the Swedish international will not be cheap, as Isak has a €90 million release clause in his Real Sociedad contract. However, La Real could accept a lower sum, too, although they are hesitant in dealing with La Liga rivals Barcelona. This could give Arsenal the edge in the race to sign Isak.

The only way Barcelona will be able to sign Isak is by triggering his €90 million release clause. That seems to be an unlikely prospect, meaning the 22-year-old will only join Arsenal if he leaves Real Sociedad in the summer.

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