Arsenal remain interested in signing a defensive midfielder, box to box player and number 10, according to The Athletic.
Mikel Arteta would like to be able to play with three in midfield, a strategy employed by some of Europe’s top teams including Liverpool and Manchester City. The Gunners will not necessarily look to buy three different players who can play each of the roles in midfield.
They hope to find multi functional players who can offer Arteta solutions in different areas of the pitch. Bukayo Saka is a good example of a talented player who can take specific tactical instructions on board and do a job in more than just one position.
The North London club expect to sign Willian by the end of the week and feel that they are getting a player who is proven in the Premier League at an affordable price, especially because they are signing him on a free transfer. The Brazilian has predominantly operated on the wings for Chelsea but is understood to prefer playing as an attacking midfielder behind the striker.
The Gunners have also been linked with Coutinho but despite the player being keen on a return to the Premier League, it is understood that he is not currently on Arsenal’s agenda.
Dani Ceballos is another player who has proven to be multi functional. He can play as a defensive midfielder as well as a box to box player. The Spaniard has put in a string of impressive performances since the resumption of the Premier League and is considered an important part of the Arsenal first team.
Arteta is keen on keeping the player in North London and the Gunners are currently in talks with Real Madrid to keep the player on loan for an additional season.
Ideally, the club would like to complete a permanent transfer for the former Betis midfielder but that looks unlikely this summer due to the financial implications of the pandemic. Ceballos’ price will likely rise if he has another impressive season in the Premier League but the Gunners are still pushing ahead with a move to sign him on loan.
Thomas Partey remains the club’s primary transfer target this summer. Even though the North London club’s recruitment policy has become heavily dependent on contacts and agents in recent years, Arsenal’s interest in the Ghanaian midfielder is down to the club’s top scouts like Francis Cagigao.
Partey has been scouted by Arsenal ever since he was on loan at Mallorca in 2013. The club continued to keep tabs on the player as he graduated to Atletico’s first team and have recommended that he be signed.
The Gunners have been particularly impressed with the 27 year old’s defensive and tactical ability. Unai Emery was believed to be keen on signing him last summer but resources were allocated elsewhere and that move never happened.
Talks are currently ongoing between Arsenal and Atletico as the Gunners look to find a deal to bring Partey to the Emirates. The player has a £45 million buyout clause. If not for the coronavirus, the Gunners would have considered triggering his release clause.
Due to the financial consequences of Covid-19, the North London club are trying to find a creative solution to bring the Ghana international to North London and view triggering the buyout clause as a last resort.
A lot of Arsenal’s plans could depend on funds generated from players leaving the club. Matteo Guendouzi is expected to depart North London while the club will also listen to offers for Sokratis and Rob Holding. Mustafi and Chambers are injured and so are unlikely to leave this summer. The Gunners are keen on signing a new centre back this summer but will look to offload existing options in that department first.
Dayot Upamecano was the scouting department’s top recommendation but a move for the French defender looks unlikely as he recently signed a two year extension with Red Bull Leipzig. Arsenal have turned their attention to the next name on their list, Lille’s Gabriel Magalhaes. The 22 year old has attracted interest from Everton in addition to the Gunners but could well be on his way to North London this summer.
There are rumours that Lacazette could leave the club this summer and if that were to happen, the Gunners could consider signing another attacker.
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