Arsenal hold strong interest in signing £42.5m-rated attacker: report

Arsenal are understood to hold a ‘strong interest’ in signing Hakim Ziyech from Dutch champions Ajax, a report from Calciomercato claims.

The Gunners were linked with a possible move for Ziyech during the summer but nothing materialised from the same, with the club eventually landing Nicolas Pepe from Lille on a club-record deal.

Pepe made a relatively slow beginning to the campaign as he struggled to impress with the finishing but his displays have certainly improved over the past month with crucial goals in the wins over West Ham United and Manchester United.

As a result, there does not seem the need for another right-sided winger but a report from Calciomercato suggests that the Gunners are seriously looking into a move for Ziyech in the current transfer window.

The same publication cites that the 26-year-old has been given the green light to part ways with Ajax this month, provided their asking price of £42.5m (€50m) is met.

Ziyech was hugely influential towards Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-final last term and he has equally impressed this season with eight goals and 16 assists in the Eredivisie and Champions League combined.

The 26-year-old would definitely fit into Mikel Arteta’s plans, given Ajax adopt a high-pressing and attacking brand of football, but being a pre-dominantly a right-sided winger, the move does not seem worthwhile with Pepe operating in the same position.

Besides, Arsenal’s concerns are presently lying in the defensive department and the signing of a new central defender should be regarded as the prime priority after the season-ending injury for Calum Chambers.

Once again, RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano has been one of the names mentioned in the media but there are also suggestions that the Gunners could be priced out of a move for the Frenchman.

Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich has recently been earmarked as a potential option to reinforce the heart of the defence and it is claimed that he could be available for around £12.8m.

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