Premier League • England

Arteta in dreamland as big-name forward picks Arsenal over Liverpool, with transfer authorised

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, Borussia Dortmund winger Donyell Malen

A major transfer has fallen into Mikel Arteta’s lap after a Liverpool-linked winger admitted he’d love to sign for Arsenal, while a report has claimed a transfer has been greenlit.

Both Arsenal and Liverpool are expected to be in the market for a new winger in the summer. Fabrizio Romano recently confirmed the Reds are eyeing wingers and centre-backs, while the Gunners require adequate back-up on the right flank for Bukayo Saka.

One player both clubs are known to hold genuine interest in is Pedro Neto. However, the Portuguese ace, 23, won’t come cheap, with Wolves expected to demand a fee in the £60m-£80m range.

A more cost-effective option for either Liverpool or Arsenal could come in the form of Borussia Dortmund’s Donyell Malen.

The Dutchman has bagged 10 goals in 21 Bundesliga matches this term and has established himself as a guaranteed starter.

However, Dortmund are facing a fight to simply qualify for next season’s Champions League. They currently sit in fourth spot which would be good enough to qualify, though RB Leipzig are just a single point behind.

In any case, a rebuild is on the horizon in Dortmund and according to BILD, the German giant will look to cash in on Malen to help fund new signings.

BILD claimed Malen can leave for a fee in the region of €40m-€50m. That equates to a range of £32.4m-£42.8m.

The report confirmed widespread claims that Liverpool hold an interest in 25-year-old Malen. However, according to the player himself, a return to the Emirates is greatly preferred.

Malen spent two years on Arsenal’s books as a youth player between 2015-17. A desire to play first-team football straight away resulted in Malen leaving for PSV Eindhoven before he was later sold to Dortmund.

When speaking to Dutch outlet Voetbalzone, Malen declared he wishes to play for Arsenal again.

Malen greenlights own transfer to Arsenal

“I think, because I played in England as a youth, it is a dream to play in the Premier League,” said the winger. “I think that is a beautiful dream.”

Asked specifically about a return to Arsenal, Malen added: “Yes I would [return]. I wanted Arsenal [as a teenager], my favourite club.

“I played there in my youth, I really wanted to break through there. Every now and then in a football career there are points at which you just have to make a decision.

“Yes, I was training with the first team, and I was 17, 18 at the time and I did make steps in the right direction, but I thought I had to just play professional football.

“I also saw my teammates playing professional football while I was still playing youth football and I knew [leaving] was the right thing to do.”

Whether Arsenal will tap in the open goal remains to be seen. Malen operates primarily on the right flank, though as a right-footer, isn’t the perfect back-up for Saka.

In any case, what is clear is if Arsenal do make a move for Malen they certainly won’t meet any resistance from the player.

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