An Arsenal veteran is the ‘first choice’ transfer target of a Serie A club soon to be in need of reinforcements, though what they propose will likely not be to Mikel Arteta’s liking.
Arsenal have been tipped to perform major surgery on their squad this summer. Arteta’s first full season in charge at the Emirates lurched from one disappointment to the next. Nevertheless, there were signs as the season drew to a close that next year could be a more fruitful venture.
Five consecutive wins to finish the season showed what can be achieved with rising talents at the heart of Arteta’s team. Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe were particular bright sparks, though the club must avoid pinning their hopes on such a young pair.
As such, widespread reports have put the Gunners in the mix for several major transfers.
Brighton centre-half Ben White has been tipped to arrive in a £50m deal. Elsewhere, Sweden’s Euro 2020 sensation Alexander Isak could bolster their firepower after Arsenal chief Edu made first contact.
To help afford such deals, several exits have been mooted, including that of 10-year Arsenal veteran Hector Bellerin.
The right-back has been in North London since arriving as a 16-year-old in 2011. However, his time with the Gunners appears to be nearing its end.
The Spaniard is reportedly seeking a fresh challenge, and Italian champions Inter Milan could offer just that.
Inter’s Bellerin preference won’t excite Arsenal
They (citing Italian outlet Gianluca DiMarzio) report that Bellerin is Inter’s ‘first choice’ target at right-back. Furthermore, Bellerin’s agent is said to have already made ‘contact’ with the club.
From Arsenal’s perspective, a permanent sale would be of most benefit to help free up funds for summer splashes. Per trusted football journalist Fabrizo Romano, the club are seeking a fee in the region of €20m.
However, Inter are said to prefer a ‘loan with an option to buy.’
Whether that would tempt Arsenal and Arteta remains to be seen, but it would do little to help them in the short-term as they seek to thrust themselves back into the top four mix with all haste.