Arsenal will target England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin as a replacement for Alexander Lacazette next summer.

And that is further bad news for Everton boss Rafa Benitez, who has admitted his Goodison plans have been wrecked by the injury absence of the centre forward for the past three months.

Calvert-Lewin is under contract until 2025, and Benitez has already suggested he will fight tooth and nail to keep his important players at the club.

But he also admitted in recent days that rival clubs - including Liverpool - have achieved success by selling to raise funds at the right time and Everton must follow suit.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a target for Arsenal (

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PA)

"Some clubs have been selling players at the right time, and with the money they received they improved the squad," he said.

"That is something we have to learn. The owner is ready to spend money but we can't spend all the time without bringing money back in.

"So I think we have to be clever in the future but at the moment, at this time, we have to make sure we can bring the best out of our players."

That suggests even important players like 24-year-old England star Calvert-Lewin would have a price, and Arsenal are ready to test that prospect.

They are still to agree on a new contract with Lacazette, and it’s understood they are already closely following potential replacements, with the Everton forward high on their list.

Calvert-Lewin has been a revelation in the past two seasons, scoring freely and developing impressively under Carlo Ancelotti, and forcing his way into the England squad for the Euros.

But he has been struggling badly with a thigh injury, and Benitez said last week the striker is still some weeks away from returning to the first team.

Alexandre Lacazette is set to be replaced at the end of the season (

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PA)

It is unlikely he will be back in action until just before Christmas, and with some tough games coming up before then, the Blues’ struggles without him will continue.

It is the longer-term though, that is of real interest, and if Arsenal make a big enough offer, then Benitez would have to consider whether the funds would give him the clout in the transfer market he is desperate for.

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