Arsenal ‘stand out’ above rivals in midfield transfer chase – but face £51m headache
Premier League transfer news and rumours
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Arsenal are the ‘stand out’ team chasing a deal for FC Porto winger Otavio – but the Gunners face a battle to persuade the 27-year-old to leave Portugal. The Gunners are one of a host of teams who are interested the Portuguese international, who has a €60million (£51m) release clause.
Mikel Arteta is looking to bolster a squad that agonisingly missed out on a top-four finish in the final weeks of the season to their bitter London rivals, Tottenham.
And according to a new report from Record, via Sport Witness, Otavio is one player who the Gunners are currently keeping an eye on in the early stages of the transfer window. The winger impressed in Portugal last term, where he accrued five goals and 14 assists in all competitions for Porto.
The Portuguese giants reportedly need to sell players to raise funds this summer, but are reluctant to lose Otavio, who the report claims is ‘comfortable’ at the club and would also prefer to stay put.
But that hasn’t deterred a host of Premier League clubs from courting the fleet-footed winger; although it’s Arsenal who are seemingly the most interested in the Porto ace.
However, the report goes on to claim that there are no guarantees that Arsenal will firm up their interest with a concrete bid for Otavio, who is unlikely to be allowed to leave for less than his sizeable release clause.
The Gunners have been linked with a host of targets in recent weeks as Arteta bids to refresh his attacking options in the summer break. Arsenal currently have no recognised senior strikers on their books, although Eddie Nketiah is expected to put pen-to-paper on a bumper new deal after impressing in the final weeks of the season.
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Sourcing a new No.9 is seemingly Arteta’s top priority in the off-season, with Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus the most likely candidate to lead the line for the Gunners next season – if they can persuade him to snub interest from other teams who can offer Champions League football.
Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca has been identified as an alternative if Jesus does opt to move elsewhere, while Arsenal are also keen to bolster their options in midfield.
The Gunners have seemingly lost out to Tottenham in the race to nab Yves Bissouma from Brighton, but Arsenal are hierarchy are ‘confident’ that they can conclude a deal for Leicester City playmaker Youri Tielemans in the coming weeks.
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