Arsenal

Arsenal

Premier League • England

Arsenal turn to £50m-rated flyer to give Arteta thrilling new weapon, but Newcastle cloud the issue

AC Milan forwards Brahim Diaz and Rafael Leao

Arsenal are fixing their gaze on AC Milan forward Rafael Leao as they seek to revamp their forward line, though Newcastle could torpedo their plans, per a report.

The Gunners’ forward line could look unrecognisable next season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has already left for Barcelona, while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah will both be free agents in the summer. Details of a ‘huge proposal’ set to greet Lacazette can be found at the foot of this piece.

Arsenal sought to sign Dusan Vlahovic last month, but were beaten to the punch by Juventus. As such, it’s not out of the question that Mikel Arteta will require two or even three new forwards in the summer.

Much of the focus has thus far been on centre-forwards. Indeed, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Alexander Isak continue to be linked across the media.

However, the latest from the Sun puts Arsenal in the frame for left winger Rafael Leao.

The 22-year-old Portuguese international is enjoying his best season to date at AC Milan. Leao has bagged 10 goals and six assists across all competitions at the San Siro. Those contributions have helped the Rossoneri ascend to the summit of the Serie A table at present.

Everton, Wolves quoted £50m for Rafael Leao

The newspaper state Arsenal have taken note, and citing the Spanish press, claim they ‘hope to secure a deal’ in the summer.

The article does not state how much Leao would cost in the current market. However, past approaches do give an indication.

Leao reportedly became a target for Everton and Wolves in 2021, and both were ‘told to fork out £50m’. But whether a lower bid would bring Milan to the table, only time will tell.

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At 22, Leao fits the age profile of players Arsenal have looked to sign in recent windows. Every player they signed last summer was aged 24 and under as Arsenal chief Edu targeted stars with their best years ahead. Leao can also operate centrally, though the left flank is undoubtedly his optimal position.

Nevertheless, Arsenal are unlikely to have a free run at Leao next summer – assuming Newcastle beat the drop.

The Sun add Leao is a target for the Magpies who will splash the cash to greater effect if their Premier League status is secured this season.


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Lacazette to receive ‘huge proposal’

Meanwhile, the striker department at Arsenal could face yet more upheaval in the summer after a report revealed a ‘huge proposal’ is being readied for Alexandre Lacazette.

Lacazette is out of contract in the summer, and whether Arsenal will offer the Frenchman a new contract, only time will tell. But according to ESPN, Lacazette will have a lucrative offer to turn his back on the Gunners.

They state former club Lyon are readying a ‘huge proposal’ to bring the centre-forward back to France.

The Ligue 1 powerhouse will do ‘everything possible’ to make the free agent move happen. That will include a ‘big wage package, signing fee and bonuses’.

Lacazette is third in Lyon’s all-time scoring charts with 129 goals. Bringing the 30-year-old back is labelled a ‘dream’ for club president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Lyon are also hopeful the romantic nature of returning to where it all began will appeal. It’s noted interest in Lacazette goes far beyond just Lyon – and could extend to a Premier League rival.

As such, the onus is now on Arsenal to make a suitable offer to Lacazette – something Paul Merson has begged the club not to do. If they opt against offering a new deal, multiple striker additions may become a necessity in the summer.

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