Premier League • England

Arsenal, West Ham gear up for ‘auction’ for exciting Bundesliga star linked with London rivals

Filip Kostic playing against Jude Bellingham

Arsenal are among the contenders for the signature of Eintracht Frankfurt wide man Filip Kostic, according to reports.

Kostic looks likely to be on the move this year due to his contract expiring in 2023. He has already been linked with a transfer to the Premier League, where Tottenham Hotspur could add him to their ranks as a wing-back.

But the Serbia international actually has admirers on the other side of the north London divide, according to Calciomercato.

Covering Inter Milan’s pursuit of the player, the Italian outlet list Arsenal as one of the sides waiting to pounce for Kostic.

The Gunners could be in the market for a new winger. Nicolas Pepe has not lived up to expectations and could be on his way out by the summer, for example.

Reinforcements would be welcome at the Emirates Stadium and Kostic could be within Arsenal’s plans.

At the age of 29, he has plenty of experience and has shown his usefulness in various systems. For Frankfurt, he has contributed 58 assists and 29 goals from 149 appearances.

Therefore, Arsenal are considering taking part in the “auction” for his services in the summer. Calciomercato do not feel a transfer is likely in January.

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Another Premier League side tipped to compete for Kostic is West Ham. They have been looking to strengthen in attacking midfield after losing loanee Jesse Lingard in the summer.

A return for Lingard is still a possibility when his Manchester United contract expires in the summer. But they will not be his only suitors, so are having to keep their options open.

Inter speed up Kostic pursuit

Filip Kostic taking a throw in

Kostic, therefore, could get his pick of London clubs. Alternatively, he may move to Serie A with Inter, Lazio or Fiorentina, or La Liga with Atletico Madrid or Sevilla.

Inter are seemingly prepared to act in January if they can, whereas the others would want to wait until the summer. The Serie A champions are aware of their future plans and how it may affect the non-EU slots in their squad.

It makes sense for them to bring forward their pursuit of Kostic, then. How Frankfurt will feel about that remains to be seen.

If the German side decide to keep him until the end of the season, there will be an intense battle for his services. Arsenal and West Ham could be among those to get involved.

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Change of events affects Arsenal winger plans

While Arsenal will be waiting until the summer to battle for Kostic, one man they want for January is Dejan Kulusevski.

The Sweden international joined Juventus from Atalanta in 2020 after a successful spell with Parma. He featured heavily in his debut season in Turin, totalling 47 appearances.

However, this campaign has been tougher for the winger. Kulusevski has not been as big a part of the plans under returning coach Massimiliano Allegri. Indeed, he has made just four starts in Serie A.

Therefore, Arsenal have been aiming to take advantage, as have rivals Tottenham. But a turn of events means they will only be able to sign him for a monumental fee.

The update comes amid Federico Chiesa’s injury blow. The pacy 24-year-old suffered an ACL problem in Sunday’s 4-3 victory over Jose Mourinho’s Roma.

Juventus have confirmed the Italy international will have to undergo surgery, ruling him out for several months.

Chiesa’s long-term injury will impact the club’s transfer plans. They are now less likely to sell forwards who may have to appear in his place. Kulusevski is one example.

Juve will now only consider ‘exorbitant’ offers for the 21-year-old this month, as he looks set to operate on the right flank in Chiesa’s absence.

A transfer is more likely in the summer, should Kulusevski’s attacking counterpart return to the fold. Then Juve will be more inclined to sell to one of the Premier League clubs.

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