Premier League • England

Edu told Arsenal deal to sign £66m-rated midfielder is on as star changes mind on Gunners transfer

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of SS Lazio in action during the Serie A 2020/21 football match between AC Milan and SS Lazio at San Siro Stadium

Arsenal are seemingly being presented with a clear path to land a talented midfielder in January with the star reportedly making a move to Emirates Stadium his top priority.

The Gunners are riding high at the top of the Premier League after an excellent start to the season. Mikel Arteta’s side have picked up 12 wins from 14 games and already sit five points clear of Manchester City. However, Pep Guardiola’s side have excellent pedigree in the title race.

They have won four league titles in the last five seasons and, despite their current deficit, remain favourites to win it again.

As such, Arteta’s side know they can afford precious fee slips as they look to win a first Premier League title in 19 years.

To further their chances, though, the Gunners’ owners are preparing to invest in the squad in January. Arteta wants at least two signings to strengthen his options and provide his side with additional quality.

To that end, the Gunners boss will be handed a budget of around £50m with a new midfielder and wide attacker in mind.

First up, it seems Arsenal are ready to close on the signing of a primary wing target. And the fee likely to be needed for the player will reportedly cost significantly less than the Gunners initially expected to pay.

After that, the Gunners also have a number of options to explore when it comes to bolstering their midfield.

Arteta is looking for cover and competition for Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka. The two men have been in excellent form this season. But behind them, Arteta has doubts that Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga are as effective.

Arsenal given hope of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic signing

One man who has been on their radar is Youri Tielemans.

The Belgian is out of contract at Leicester in the summer and is eligible to leave on a free transfer come July 1. Indeed, he can sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas suitors from January 1.

A more ambitious target though is Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Serbian star is regarded as one of the best midfielders in Serie A, having regularly been on Manchester United’s radar over the years.

Last season he registered 11 goals and 11 assists, amid claims Lazio president Claudio Lotito valued him at £100m-plus.

But lately, claims of a potential move to Arsenal have been gathering pace. And with his deal due to expire in summer 2024, the star has reportedly informed the capital club that he has no intention of signing a new deal.

Now it seems a move to Arsenal is gathering pace amid claims the player is now open to making the move.

The latest developments come from Italian journalist Giulio Cardone. And he claims a move to Arsenal now very much interests Milinkovic-Savic, having been impressed by their form this season.

Speaking to Italian radio station Radiosei, Cardone said: “Arsenal on Milinkovic? The news is that the player has changed his opinion on the English club which already tried to approach him last summer.

“If a fair proposal were to arrive this time, he would consider it. Today, the Gunners are dominating the Premier League, they will go to the Champions League, they have started a fascinating project, they have acquired a different appeal.

Arsenal target would cost around £66m

“Agent Kezman has been probing various clubs for some time to then bring offers to Lazio. In the summer he had garnered serious interest from the London club [Arsenal] and Newcastle.”

Any deal for the 27-year-old is likely to cost around £66m (€75m). And while that is a little beyond Arsenal’s January budget – particularly if they also sign a winger – it would give the club something to consider.

His signing would certainly add significant extra quality to their raks. And whether as a starter or as an impact substitute, Milinkovic-Savic is definitely a game-changer.

The temptation for Edu is that his signing could make the difference in Arsenal’s title push. And if they feel a deal can be done, it is certainly an addition that Arteta could push for.

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