Premier League • England

Arsenal ‘open talks’ with Man Utd target as Mikel Arteta eyes deal for Thomas Partey upgrade

Youssouf Fofana, Arsenal

Arsenal have begun attempts to sign Youssouf Fofana

Mikel Arteta is keen to bolster his Arsenal squad this summer and reports suggest that a new midfielder is top of his list of priorities.

Thomas Partey is likely to depart the Emirates this summer and a replacement will have to be brought in for him – while experienced star Jorginho will probably leave after 2024/25,

Arsenal are scouring the market for a midfielder who can be an asset for them for many years to come – ideally, one who can play in a double pivot with Declan Rice.

Reports suggest that Monaco star Youssouf Fofana is on the Gunners’ shortlist of targets and it seems inevitable he’ll be on the move this summer.

The French international’s contract expires in 2025 and he has no intention of signing an extension, meaning Monaco must sell him now to avoid losing him on the cheap.

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Arsenal aren’t the only club interested in Fofana, though, with Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and AC Milan all keeping tabs on his situation.

He is widely considered to be one of the best midfielders in Ligue 1, so could prove to be an excellent addition to Arteta’s side.

Arsenal eye deal for Ligue 1 midfielder

According to French outlet L’Equipe, Arsenal have ‘already held discussions’ with Fofana’s entourage, and so too have PSG, Atletico and AC Milan.

The report claims that the ‘player’s transfer shouldn’t be unblocked’ until the completion of the European Championships this summer.

Fofana’s price tag is thought to be around €20m (approx. £17m) – which is a bargain for a player of his quality.

Previous reports have suggested that Arsenal are not the only Premier League side with an interest in the 25-year-old, with Manchester United and West Ham also keen.

Man Utd tried to sign Fofana on a loan-to-buy deal last summer but their proposal was swiftly rejected.

Fofana has scored four goals and made four assists in 35 appearances for Monaco this season. He generally plays in a number eight role but has also featured as a defensive midfielder and on the right wing.

Monaco would ideally prefer to keep Fofana, but are aware that he’s determined to pursue a new challenge elsewhere.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if Arsenal launch a concrete bid for Fofana in the coming weeks, as they will have to move quickly to beat the competition to his signature.

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