Premier League • England

Mikel Arteta a ‘huge fan’ of Chelsea star as Arsenal plot incredible summer move ahead of Champions League return

Chelsea stars Raheem Sterling, Hakim Ziyech and Conor Gallagher

Arsenal could get their revenge on Chelsea for the Mykhaylo Mudryk transfer hijack by signing a top Blues attacker this summer, according to a report.

Arsenal held several rounds of talks with Shakhtar Donetsk as they tried to sign Ukraine winger Mudryk. However, the 22-year-old ended up going to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea were willing to pay more money for him, which saw them meet Shakhtar’s huge £89million asking price. Chelsea have paid £62m of that fee up front, while the rest (£27m) is dependent on add-ons.

Mudryk has struggled to shine for Chelsea so far. In six appearances he has yet to show his true ability or register a goal contribution.

After failing to snare Mudryk, Arsenal instead opted to land Leandro Trossard from Brighton. He cost far less than the new Chelsea man, with Arsenal paying Brighton £27m.

Trossard has done better in an Arsenal shirt than Mudryk has done at Chelsea. He bagged his first and only Gunners goal during the 1-1 draw with Brentford on February 11. And the Belgian also set up Gabriel Martinelli’s winner against Leicester City on Saturday, which gave Arsenal a crucial three points in the title race.

After initially being frustrated with Mudryk going to their London rivals, Arsenal will now be happy with how things have worked out. And they could enact a form of transfer revenge by raiding Chelsea for Raheem Sterling, too.

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90Min claim Arsenal are interested in signing the England international this summer to bolster their forward line. Capturing Sterling would help Arsenal’s squad depth as they prepare for a first Champions League campaign since 2016/17.

Mikel Arteta is prioritising players with European experience to improve his squad. These stars will know how to deal with regular games in both the Premier League and Champions League.

Raheem Sterling exactly what Arsenal are looking for

Sterling fits into this bracket, having made 79 appearances in the UCL for Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea during his career (not including qualifiers).

The report adds that Arteta is ‘a huge fan’ of Sterling for two reasons. The first is that he knows him well from their time together at City. Arteta was Pep Guardiola’s assistant manager between July 2016 and December 2019, which is when he left the Etihad to become Arsenal boss.

Arteta will know how Sterling acts in the dressing room, which is his favoured position and how to get the best out of him.

The second reason Arteta likes Sterling is his versatility. He is comfortable operating as a winger on either flank. Alternatively, the 28-year-old can also play as a false nine if required, something Trossard has done recently.

While Arteta would love Arsenal to sign Sterling, it would take some convincing to get Chelsea to sign off on his exit. After all, Chelsea only brought him in from City last summer. And with his contract running until June 2027, they are under no obligation to sell.

As such, Arsenal would need to stump up big money to reach an agreement with their London rivals.

Meanwhile, Arsenal can sign a long-term target for much less than his actual transfer value, according to reports.