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MILAN (AP) — Diego Perotti was in tears at the final whistle and had to be consoled by his teammates after his late penalty was saved in relegation-threatened Salernitana’s 1-1 draw with Empoli in Serie A on Saturday.

Salernitana inched two points clear of the drop zone — but missed a chance to gain more ground — before Cagliari and Genoa play on Sunday.

Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario pulled off a number of fine saves, including the penalty stop, though he was also somewhat at fault for Federico Bonazzoli’s second-half equalizer after Patrick Cutrone had given Empoli the lead.

The result sent last-place Venezia straight back to Serie B regardless of its result at Roma later.

Salernitana was desperate for points at Empoli after a stoppage-time equalizer from Cagliari last weekend saw the Sardinian team snatch a draw in their relegation battle.

It had the better of the early chances and Empoli defender Fabiano Parisi had to make a goalline clearance shortly before Vicario pushed another attempt onto the underside of the crossbar and out.

But it was Empoli that took the lead against the run of play when Cutrone ran onto a Kristjan Asllani through ball and placed an effort between the goalkeeper and the near post.

Vicario continued to keep Salernitana at bay, including with two stunning stops in the second half to claw efforts off the line from first Bonazzoli and then Milan Djuric.

Those two chances came either side of Cutrone almost doubling his tally but he hit a low shot onto the right post.

Vicario made a rare mistake for the Salernitana equalizer in the 76th minute as he dropped a corner and the ball came to Bonazzoli for an overhead kick into the back of the net.

Salernitana had a golden chance to take the lead, six minutes from time, when it was awarded a penalty for a tackle by Simone Romagnoli on Mamadou Coulibaly.

But Vicario pulled off another impressive feat by also saving Perotti’s spotkick.

There’s one round to play after this weekend.

___

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Arsenal draw up 12-MAN transfer shortlist including Jesus, Martinez, Tielemans and Neves ahead of huge overhaul

ARSENAL are preparing for a major transfer outlay this summer after reportedly drawing up a shortlist with 12 players on it.

The Gunners priority is to sign a new striker, with Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus heading the list, as reported by The Athletic.

4Jesus is seen as a player who could fit seamlessly into the Arsenal systemCredit: Getty 4Neves continues to attract interest following another season of strong performancesCredit: Getty 4Tielemans 10 goal contributions helped a lacklustre Leicester to remain in the top halfCredit: Getty 4Martinez hit 25 goals in 49 goals in all competitions this seasonCredit: Getty

The Champions could demand as much as £50million for him, a significant figure for a striker whose contract expires in a years time and failed to hit double figures in the Premier League.

This could move Arsenal's attention elsewhere, with names such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Alexander Isak, and Victor Osimhen being linked with a move to the Emirates.

However, both Calvert-Lewin and Isak struggled for goals this season, while Napoli star Osimhen will cost a significant amount considering he was signed for £80m two seasons ago and scored 18 goals this season.

Arsenal director Edu remains a firm admirer of Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez, but a new deal signed earlier this season could make him unattainable at a cost-effective price.

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Another Serie A star the club are considering is said to be Sassuolo's Gianluca Scamacca. The 23-year-old has netted 16 league goals this term - almost double what all of Arsenal's current strikers managed.

The North London club are not blessed with a bottomless pit of money, and despite being the league's top spenders last season with £140m, they will need to buy smart this summer.

Losing out on Champions League qualification to Tottenham at the end of the season could hurt Arsenal's pull power this summer, and it will certainly impact their overall transfer budget.

The potential contract renewal of Eddie Nketiah could dictate whether Arsenal buy one or two forwards this window - which might dictate the club's peak spending threshold for one player.

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Teenager Adam Hlozek and PSV's Cody Gakpo are both being monitored as other potential options.

While they have interest in plenty of senior strikers, they have also moved quickly to sign Brazilian winger Marquinhos, with the 19-year-old set to undergo medicals and finalise a deal.

Other priority positions include a new central midfielder and a left-sided centre-half.

While Arsenal's striker list is extensive, in midfield their options are far more narrowed down, with Youri Tielemans and Ruben Neves both wanted.

Tielemans is the more likely of the two considering his contract expires in 2023 and the respective performances of Neves for Wolves this season which have no doubt increased his market value.

The Athletic's report indicates Leicester City's asking price will be around £25m, which would fit well within Arsenal's budget for the summer window.

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In defence, Arsenal were pursuing a deal for Nico Schlotterbeck before the Germany international announced he was signing for Borussia Dortmund.

However, Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award winner William Saliba could provide all the reinforcement the club needs when he returns from his loan spell with Marseille.

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