ARSENAL are reportedly interested in signing Mehdi Taremi as back-up for Gabriel Jesus.

And a deal could be on in January with Porto willing to sell the striker after the World Cup.

Arsenal are lining up a January swoop for Porto striker Mehdi Taremi

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Arsenal are lining up a January swoop for Porto striker Mehdi TaremiCredit: Getty

A Bola claims Taremi, 30, has fired his way onto Mikel Arteta’s shortlist with seven goals and six assists in 11 games.

The Iran international is in his third season with Porto.

And Taremi, who has a total of 56 strikes for the Portuguese giants, has already been linked with a move to Chelsea.

But it’s Arsenal who are reportedly leading the race this winter.

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Sporting director Edu Gaspar usually only targets players under the age of 30.

But he is apparently willing to break his own rule this once in order to sign Taremi for title-chasing Arteta.

Arsenal’s impressive boss fears Eddie Nketiah alone would not be able to continue the club’s title charge should star man Jesus suffer an injury.

The Brazilian has five goals and four assists since his £45million switch from Manchester City.

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And Arteta reckons only Taremi would be able to carry the torch in case of a setback in the second half of the campaign.

The striker’s representatives have already told Porto he is considering a change of scenery at the start of 2023.

Sergio Conceicao’s side are no strangers to doing business in the winter market, with Luis Diaz joining Liverpool last January.

And Porto are open to letting Taremi go for the right price.

But the ace will first strut his stuff for Iran at the World Cup, with their opening match in Group B against none other than Gareth Southgate’s England.

Arsenal currently sit top of the table after beating Liverpool 3-2 on Sunday.

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There’s just one point separating them from defending champions City.

And Arsenal’s next Premier League outing sees them travel to Leeds next weekend.