Mikel Arteta is reportedly set to ask Pep Guardiola for the chance to sign Nathan Ake if Arsenal efforts to sign Ben White fail to succeed.
The Gunners are already believed to have tabled bids in the regions of £40m and £45m for White, who is currently on international duty with Euro 2020 semi-finalists England. However, they face strong competition from Premier League rivals to get their man. Manchester City were linked with White over the weekend, with Chelsea the latest to show an interest.
According to Sky Sports News, Arsenal are still optimistic that they can win the race for White’s signature. To that end, they will launch a £50million improved offer for the defender soon.
The report adds that Seagulls owner Tony Bloom is happy to sell player – but only at the right price.
However, the Daily Express claims it is City who are most likely to succeed in signing White.
As such, the paper suggests Arteta will ask his former mentor Guardiola about the availability of Ake as a Plan B.
The Holland defender joined City last summer in a £40m move from Bournemouth. However, he found first-team chances hard to come by, making just 13 appearances in all competitions.
Indeed, he found himself way down the pecking order behind Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte.
However, with Laporte looking to leave, City are ready to turn to White.
And adding the England man to the mix will still leave Ake kicking his heels as fourth choice.
The paper claims that Ake is not agitating for a move, he could be tempted to leave in search of regular football.
Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football, said last season: “Nathan is a quality defender. He was a leader during his time at Bournemouth, and I am so pleased we’ve managed to bring him here.”
However, it’s safe to say his move to the Etihad has not worked out as hoped.
Having played every Premier League game for his two seasons at Bournemouth, Ake was a regular in their rearguard. He also represents the exact type of quality Arteta is looking for in defence.
Guardiola may be reluctant to let Ake leave, especially if Laporte is granted his exit wish.
However, the Express claims Arteta will at least ask the question should they miss out on White.
Gunners revive interest in Barcelona star
Meanwhile, Arsenal have revived their interest in Barcelona backup goalkeeper Neto, according to reports.
Finding further competition for Bernd Leno has become one of many priorities for Arsenal this summer. The German goalkeeper has sometimes struggled for consistency, but will likely stay at the club. To get the best out of him, though, perhaps they need a more reliable deputy to keep him on his toes.
Last summer, they sold Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa and signed Alex Runarsson as a replacement. The Iceland international failed to make the most of his chances, though, which prompted the club to bring Mat Ryan in on loan from Brighton in January.
They were looking to make that move permanent. However, Ryan now seems to be on the verge of a move to Real Sociedad instead. Thus, Arsenal will once again have to explore their options.
One man they were considering before getting Ryan was Barcelona’s Neto. He has served as the understudy to Marc-Andre Ter Stegen since moving to the Camp Nou in 2019. The one-time Brazil international has only made 17 appearances over the past two seasons and could consider his future again.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal are now willing to make another move for the 31-year-old.