Premier League • England

Arsenal desperate to seal transfer of Real Madrid playmaker as Arteta eyes stunning new-look formation

Real Madrid star Brahim Diaz is wanted by Arsenal this summer

Brahim Diaz is wanted by Arsenal this summer

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly looking to tempt Real Madrid into the sale of Brahim Diaz this summer by making a huge offer for his services in a move that could trigger a glitzy new-look formation – and the potential move could be financed by the sale of a £30m star.

The Gunners have made enormous strides over the last two seasons with the club’s brave transfer approach paying rich dividends. But having finished as Premier League runners-up behind the all-conquering Manchester City in the last two seasons, Arteta now has plans in place to help take Arsenal to the next level.

The north London side also reached the Champions League quarter-finals, where they were narrowly squeezed out by Bayern Munich over two legs and it is those small margins that Arteta and Edu are keen to address to ensure the 2024/25 season is even more memorable for Arsenal and their fans.

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Indeed, TEAMtalk understands that the Gunners plan to make at least three new signings, with a new midfielder, a left-sided defender, who can cover both left-back and centre-half, as well as a new striker very much at the top of their wishlist.

A new goalkeeper to play back-up to David Raya, who will be signed on a permanent £27m deal when the transfer window officially opens for business this week, will also be sought assuming Aaron Ramsdale gets his wish to leave granted.

The Gunners splurged a club-record fee to sign Declan Rice last summer from West Ham in a deal that ultimately cost £105m. However, the England midfielder has proved an astute signing and bringing in a partner for him in midfield will be one of the club’s main priorities this summer.

Arsenal transfers: Arteta wants Real Madrid man to spark new look formation

While Jorginho has signed a new deal, Arsenal have waved farewell to Mohamed Elneny at the end of his contract, while doubts surround the long-term future of both Albert Sambi Lokonga and Thomas Partey.

Partey’s deal is due to expire in summer 2025 and, despite Arteta publicly offering his backing of the Ghananian, we understand they could well cash in on the 30-year-old if a suitable offer comes in and following an injury-hit 2023/24 campaign.

As a result, the likes of Martin Zubimendi and Douglas Luiz are among Arsenal’s high-profile targets to come into their midfield as a partner for Rice next season.

However, new reports in Spain claim Arteta is ready to go for something entirely different and now has his eyes firmly fixed on Real Madrid  playmaker Diaz.

The once-capped Spain attacking midfielder or winger switched international allegiances this year by hooking up with Morocco – the country of his father’s birth.

Now it’s claimed the much-travelled star could be about to make a big change too on the transfer front with a high-profile move to Arsenal also on the agenda.

Diaz is no stranger to playing in England, having previously turned out for Manchester City between 2016 and 2019. He could only manage 15 appearances in his time there before he decided to cut his losses and move to Spain with Real Madrid, whom signed him in a £22m deal.

But after failing to make a sizeable impression at the Bernabeu, Diaz was allowed to join AC Milan on loan for the duration of the 2020/21 campaign  – with the arrangement seeing him stay in place for another two seasons thereafter.

Arsenal to fund Diaz signing by offloading £30m flop back to former club

He eventually made his breakthrough for Los Blancos this season, proving a useful addition for Carlo Ancelotti and scoring 12 goals and registering nine assists in 44 appearances in all competitions.

However, the arrivals of both Endrick and Kylian Mbappe makes the competition for shirts even tougher than ever and it’s claimed the 24-year-old could be sacrificed if a sizeable offer comes in.

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And with the star still contracted to Real until summer 2027, it’s claimed it would take an offer of around €40m (£33.8m) to convince them to cash in.

That, however, is a price Arsenal are said to be willing to meet with Arteta keen to bring him and partner him alongside Martin Odegaard in a new-look and very-attack minded 4-1-4-1 formation, with the duo both starting as No 10s. With Bukary Saka and one of Leandro Trossard or Gabriel Martinelli on the wings, behind a frontman – whomever that turns out to be – Arteta could field one of the most attack minded line-ups seen in Arsenal’s history.

That fluid formation – perhaps most-commonly seen at Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa – could see Odegaard dropping deeper alongside Rice whenever Arsenal are not in possession and having to shut out their opponents.

And the move could be made possible by the exit of Fabio Vieira, who has failed to claim a regular place in the side since his £30m switch from FC Porto in summer 2022.

Now Vieira is the subject of an approach to bring him back to the Estadio do Dragao for around half the fee in which Arsenal paid.

The Portuguese star has three years remaining on his deal but is unhappy at his lack of game-time with Arsenal, having been limited to just 49 appearances (but just 15 starts) over his two years. He has scored just three goals.

As a result, a return to Porto is on the cards if they can convince the Gunners to either sell him or allow him to depart on loan – an option Arsenal would prefer so as to protect his value were he to have a good season.

And his exit would help free up space in the squad for the Gunners to push through a possible move for Diaz and help engineer an exciting new look next season.