The Sunday Mirror says Wenger is ready to take a January gamble by bidding for the man dubbed the "new David Villa" ahead of the old one.
It means Wenger has prioritised Atletico Madrid's Adrian Lopez, who has been called a younger version of Villa in Spain.
Lopez has a buyout clause of nearly £15m, but his wage demands are significantly cheaper than Villa's and he only turns 25 on January 8.
"It is looking increasingly likely Adrian is the man he will go for. He is younger version on Villa and will fit into Arsenal's wage structure."