Arsenal are keen on landing the signature of Lille midfielder Renato Sanches during the winter transfer window, French publication Le 10 sport claims.
The Gunners signed Albert Sambi Lokonga to reinforce their midfield over the summer, and they could pursue another recruit at the turn of the year.
Granit Xhaka is presently injured until January with a knee injury. There are no assurances that the Swiss will make a swift comeback to the playing field.
Meanwhile, the Gunners are set to miss the services of Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny at the beginning of the year due to African Cup of Nations duty.
This could potentially leave them with Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as the specialist central midfield options, and the club appear keen to address the issue.
The Gunners are long-term admirers of Sanches, and they have already sounded out their interest to the player, his representatives as well as Lille’s hierarchy.
The north London giants have yet to make a formal transfer offer, but Lille are open to sanctioning Sanches’ sale this winter if the offer is deemed sufficient.
Sanches played a key role in Lille’s Ligue 1 glory last season, but the Portuguese has had injury concerns.
He was limited to only 23 league appearances last term. He has turned out on just six occasions so far this season.
Despite this, he is highly regarded by top European clubs with the notable improvement in his defensive work.
Sanches has played centrally in recent seasons. The 24-year-old has impressed with his tackling and distribution.
He perfectly suits Mikel Arteta with his tireless workrate while he can also chip in with goal contributions.
Sanches will enter the final 18 months of his contract in January. AC Milan appear also in the hunt to sign him.
The Gunners can’t ponder over an approach, and need to act fast to secure his services ahead of the Rossoneri.
He is valued at £27 million by Transfermarkt. Lille could hold out for a similar fee for his mid-season exit.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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