Premier League • England

Arsenal battling German royalty for clever free agent signing who’d help Arteta mount Champions League charge

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal manager, during a Europa League press conference

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are providing the stiffest competition for a canny Arsenal move that would greatly help Mikel Arteta compete on multiple fronts next season, per a report.

The Gunners are on course to lift their first Premier League title since 2004. There’s work still to do and their 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Sunday means the title is technically in Man City’s hands. However, that scenario relies on City both winning their game in hand away at Brighton and also defeating Arsenal at the Etihad on April 26.

Regardless of how the run-in shakes out, one thing is for sure – Arsenal will be back in the Champions League next year.

The Gunners haven’t graced that competition since the 2016/17 campaign, though one look at their squad suggests they’re primed to launch an assault in their first campaign back.

Indeed, Arsenal addressed a number of squad concerns in January through the arrivals of Jakub Kiwior, Jorginho and Leandro Trossard. Depth at left centre-back, central midfield and in the forwards were all added.

But unlike the Europa League, teams in the Champions League cannot get by when resting and rotating their best players. As such, quality as much as quantity will need to be added this summer.

To that end, French outlet Foot Mercato reveal Arsenal are firmly in the mix to land Crystal Palace talisman, Wilfried Zaha.

The dynamic attacker, 30, has long been linked with a move to the Emirates. He came closest to making the switch in 2019, though the Gunners dubiously plumped for Nicolas Pepe instead.

However, Arsenal will get another bite of the cherry this summer when Zaha becomes a free agent. His current contract expires at season’s end.

Bayern, Dortmund provide competition for Zaha

Foot Mercato report Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Monaco are all striving for his signature. Of the four, Monaco stand the smallest chance given they’re currently not on course to qualify for next season’s UCL.

talkSPORT piggyback on FM’s report and hint Champions League football would be a big draw for Zaha. As such, the race – if indeed Zaha doesn’t pen fresh terms at Selhurst Park – will be between Arsenal, Bayern and Dortmund.

Saudi Arabian pair Al-Nassr and Al-Ittihad could make an attempt and offer a more lucrative package. However, Zaha is understood to favour remaining in Europe.

On the salary front, it’s claimed Zaha hopes to receive around £6m-per-year. That equates to around £115,000-a-week which is well within Arsenal’s means.

Zaha hasn’t enjoyed his best campaign this term, though has still registered six league goals and a pair of assists. He hit double figures for EPL goals in three of the last four campaigns.

Zaha can aid Champions League charge

If brought to north London, Zaha would add yet another dynamic weapon to an already explosive Arsenal frontline.

Arteta would have an embarrassment of riches for the wide berths through Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard and Wilfried Zaha. Reiss Nelson may yet sign a new contract too, though there’d be less of a need if Zaha joined.

Zaha’s arrival would also ensure Arteta can safely rest one of his usual starters and barely weaken his eleven.

The quality of the depth pieces as much as the quantity is pivotal for clubs who regularly compete for top honours on multiple fronts – such as Man City.

Adding Zaha to an already stacked forward corps would be yet another step towards ensuring Arsenal aren’t one-season wonders.

Responding to the Zaha to Arsenal speculation, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reported the winger has not yet made a final decision on his future just yet.

However, we’ll not have long to wait, with Romano concluding that decision should come in the next few weeks.

READ MORE: Rumoured medical nudges Arsenal move for goalscoring mid towards completion despite being ‘a Liverpool man’