Arsenal must move quickly if they are to follow up their anticipated midfield capture with another, more high profile star amid interest from Italy.
Arsenal were boosted in their pursuit of midfield reinforcements with the news of an agreed contract with a rising Anderlecht star. That was a welcome sight for Gunners fans who had thus far had little to cheer about this summer. Indeed, another report detailed their malaise after Juventus muscled in on their proposed Italian job.
Midfield is proving to be the critical area Mikel Arteta must address in the market.
Several Gunners stars have been tipped to leave, including Granit Xhaka to Roma, Matteo Guendouzi to Borussia Dortmund and Joe Willock in an intriguing swap deal with Newcastle.
Naturally, not every move touted in the press will happen. But Arsenal are already short on numbers after the loan stints of Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard concluded.
Odegaard’s exit in particular will sting. Prior to Carlo Ancelotti’s return to Real Madrid, Arsenal’s hopes were high of securing a permanent move.
But with a second chance at the Bernabeu now looming, the creative department is in desperate need of a boost.
One such player who could compete with Emile Smith Rowe in that regard is Julian Brandt.
The Dortmund playmaker, 25, was previously Jurgen Klopp’s first choice at Liverpool ahead of Mohamed Salah back in 2017. Brandt would ultimately remain with Leverkusen until 2019 before joining Dortmund, but his stay there could soon be over.
Arsenal’s interest in the Germany international has been previously documented, but a report from the Express has detailed a new suitor.
Citing Sky Italy, they report that Lazio have joined the mix. Though an Arsenal deal is there for the taking if they so desire.
That’s because of the €25m (£21.4m) fee Dortmund are seeking. Generating that type of figure for a single transfer splash will be a difficult task for Lazio. Arsenal, on the other hand, are not saddled by such financial limitations.
Nevertheless, if the Gunners dally, a compromise may be reached between the two sides that would again lead to another missed midfield target, a la Emiliano Buendia.
Playmaker rejects Arsenal for shock switch
Meanwhile, AC Milan star Hakan Calhanoglu is reported to have spurned advances from Liverpool and Arsenal after deciding to make a cross-city switch to Inter Milan this summer.
The 27-year-old Turk enters free-transfer territory from July 1, having failed to agree a new deal at Milan. He’s also been linked with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, while Arsenal too are also reportedly keen.
However, as per trusted reporter Fabrizio Romano, Calhanoglu has instead opted to make a controversial move to Inter.
Per Romano, the 27-year-old has agreed a three-year deal with the Nerazzurri, taking him through to 2024. That comes about after the player reportedly rejected a late, improved offer from Milan to extend his stay.
He was said to be seeking a package worth €10m a year. Milan’s final offer reportedly fell short at €7.5m.