Signing a new central-midfielder remains something of a top priority for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta this summer.
The Gunners chief, who watched his side fall to a 2-1 defeat in their first pre-season friendly outing against Hibernian on Tuesday evening, is desperate to strengthen numerous positions within his squad and the centre of midfield is one of them.
football.london understands that Arsenal are edging closer and closer to getting the £17million addition of Anderlecht midfield ace Albert Sambi Lokonga over the line, but even once they do successfully add him to the squad it is not expected that he will become a regular starter, therefore meaning that the Gunners are likely to continue chasing a defensive-minded or box-to-box midfield-type player.
In recent weeks and months a number of central midfielders have been linked with moves to the Emirates Stadium, including Yves Bissouma of Brighton & Hove Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers ace Ruben Neves, Lille’s Renato Sanches and Manuel Locatelli of Sassuolo.
Of those four aforementioned players, it is Brighton star Bissouma that has been on the club’s radar the longest. football.london exclusively revealed back in January that Arsenal were interested in the Mali international and that he would be keen on making the move to north London if the opportunity presented itself.
The Gunners have remained keen ever since and several supporters are desperate to see the club sign him this summer.
Now, Premier League rivals Liverpool may have handed them an even greater chance of signing the Brighton midfielder, as the Anfield club, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, as cited by the Express, would prefer to sign Sanches.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is desperate to add a new central-midfielder to his ranks this summer following the exit of Georginio Wijnaldum and Sanches fits the blueprint, with him renowned for being energetic in the centre of the park and looking to break the lines, just as Wijnaldum did.
This development means that Arsenal will have one less contender in the battle for Bissouma’s signature, as Klopp has also, reportedly, been keeping a watchful eye on the Brighton star.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for Sanches before, taking a liking to him when he burst onto the scene at Benfica at the age of just 16-years-old.
Therefore, if Liverpool have been keeping tabs on Sanches for so long, it could make sense for them to launch a move for him when they are in need of bolstering their midfield options.
According to Transfermarkt, Sanches is currently valued at around £27million, whilst Brighton are demanding around £40million to even contemplate the idea of letting go of Bissouma.
Source by Football London