Arsenal have made a strong enquiry for the signature of Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes, according to a reporter – but they are playing catch up.
Midfield has become an area that Arsenal may need to invest in after injuries to Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey. Currently, Mikel Arteta can only call upon Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga in the deeper midfield positions.
Therefore, they may have to enter the market late in the transfer window to reinforce their squad. Although there are options like Oleksandr Zinchenko, Martin Odegaard and possibly even Benjamin White who could adapt their roles, it may be safer to sign a new player.
With that in mind, Arsenal have reportedly come into contention for the signature of Argentina international, Leandro Paredes.
The 28-year-old looks likely to leave Paris Saint-Germain before the transfer deadline. He has been the subject of strong interest from Juventus in Serie A, where he used to play for Chievo Verona, Roma and Empoli.
There have also been less concrete rumours about interest from Liverpool, who might need another midfielder due to injuries of their own in that department.
According to Goal reporter Romeo Agresti, though, the Premier League side who could try to sign Paredes before the deadline is actually Arsenal. The Gunners have supposedly made a strong enquiry for the PSG player in recent hours.
Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Sport Italia has also confirmed Arsenal’s interest.
PSG boss responds to midfielder exit links
Their late pursuit seems destined to fail, though. Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier has made no secret of the fact that Paredes wants to join Juventus.
Galtier said ahead of PSG’s match against Toulouse: “Leandro will not be part of the group.
“To be transparent, I spoke with Leandro after training. He has reached an agreement with Juventus, who we will shortly be playing against in September. He is currently a PSG player but his head is elsewhere.
“There is still no agreement between the two clubs. I took the decision not to put him in the squad so that he could prepare his departure and I could not have a player who, perhaps – perhaps – will leave the club.”
Arsenal may have left it too late for Leandro Paredes
It is therefore up to the Turin-based side to come to an agreement with Paredes’ current employers. If that doesn’t happen, perhaps he will have to take any proposal from Arsenal more seriously.
Paredes has never played in the Premier League before, but has established himself at European level. If he was to join Arsenal, he would get to play in the Europa League.
In contrast, Juventus can offer him something better – the same Champions League involvement he currently enjoys with Paris Saint-Germain.
Plus, the fact he is already familiar with Italian football may make for a smoother adjustment. Hence, it makes sense for Paredes to hold out for Juventus.
However, there may be a more definable space for him in the Arsenal setup at present. Furthermore, there have been reports of Juventus looking at alternatives – such as Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz – just in case they miss out on Paredes.
It remains to be seen if Mikel Arteta’s side will take their own interest in the deep-lying playmaker any further.