Premier League • England

Arsenal to make statement summer signing as Fabrizio Romano confirms Edu ‘well informed’ on Man Utd, Chelsea target

Arsenal sporting director Edu alongside manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal chiefs Edu and Mikel Arteta are eyeing a big new arrival

Arsenal are big admirers of Everton star Amadou Onana and could push to beat Manchester United and Chelsea to his signing, though the Gunners are yet to make a final decision on their transfer plans, as per Fabrizio Romano.

Arsenal had a big 2023 summer transfer window as they spent over £200million to sign Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber, while also agreeing to pay a further £27m for goalkeeper David Raya this summer following his loan from Brentford. After that huge expenditure, Arsenal had a very quiet January window as they did not bring any new players in.

However, Arsenal are expected to go on another significant spending spree this summer to hand Mikel Arteta a squad that can continue challenging the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.

A deadly new centre-forward is understood to be the priority, with Arteta keen for Arsenal to take all of the great chances the likes of Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaad are creating. Although, Arteta is also eager to bring in a new midfielder who can partner Odegaard and Declan Rice, with Thomas Partey no longer a reliable option.

Onana is one player Arteta and Arsenal like a lot. Although, the Gunners are not alone in admiring him, as TEAMtalk revealed on February 14 that all of the so-called ‘Big Six’ are keeping tabs on him, too.

Out of Arsenal’s ‘Big Six’ rivals, Man Utd and Chelsea are the clubs most likely to provide serious competition.

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Romano has now provided an update on what the Belgian’s future looks like. In his Daily Briefing column, the journalist has revealed that Arsenal sporting director Edu is ‘well informed’ on Onana’s situation.

Although, Edu has yet to decide whether he will make a firm move for the 22-year-old or midfield alternative Martin Zubimendi, who plays for Real Sociedad.

Arsenal ‘appreciate’ Everton player

“There will be many clubs keen on signing Amadou Onana this summer, for sure,” Romano said.

“Arsenal appreciate him and are well informed but I already mentioned also Martin Zubimendi, they have to decide what kind of player they want to sign and it won’t be decided in February, it will take some time.

“In any case, Onana is attracting interest and I think he has a good chance to move in the summer.”

Whether Arsenal decide to chase Onana or Zubimendi, it is clear that they will make a statement signing this summer to bolster their midfield.

There could be a big price different between the two players. While a release clause in Zubimendi’s contract means he can be signed for £51m, Everton will hold out for bids in excess of £70m before letting Onana leave.

The player’s sister and agent, Melissa Onana, recently provided an insight into the transfer chase surrounding her brother.

“We could have left this winter, but we once again sat down and asked the question whether it’s the right time, if the player is ready. My job is to put opportunities on the table,” she said.

“In the end, he’s the one who makes the choice because it’s his life and his career. I put the opportunities on the table and he said ‘No, I want to stay at Everton and I want to continue to fight’.”

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