Arsenal have reportedly been handed a major boost in their long-term pursuit of Yannick Carrasco, with the Belgian's club Dalian Yifang thought to be already hunting a replacement for the former Atletico Madrid man.
Carrasco's international teammate Dries Mertens is being lined up by the Chinese side to replace him when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Chinese Super League sides have to pay an enormous tax on any transfer fee they pay, which would make signing a player of Mertens' quality on a free transfer an extremely attractive proposition in order to circumnavigate this law when trying to replace Carrasco.
According to CalcioMercato, Dalian Yifang have grown resigned to Carrasco returning to Europe and now see Mertens as a very realistic target to replace him.
The Belgium international has been an undoubted success for Rafael Benitez's team, having scored 21 goals and made 16 assists in 46 appearances in China.
One of the main factors driving Carrasco's reported desire to return to Europe is his concern over losing his regular starting berth for his national side, with former Tottenham Hotspur man Nacer Chadli having been selected ahead of him against Scotland on Monday night.body check tags ::