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Tielemans one of five players Arsenal should target for summer business

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Youri Tielemans included in list of five players Arsenal should target in expected summer squad retool

Arsenal is on their way to re-establishing their top-six credentials this season under former midfielder Mikel Arteta, and even have a chance at securing Champions League football next season for the first time since the 2016-17 season when they crashed out of the competition in the round of 16.

The Gunners took another step toward that aim yesterday when they ran out 1-0 winners against Bruno Lage’s tricky Wolves outfit at the Molineux despite attacking starlet Gabriel Martinelli being given his marching orders after being booked on two occasions during the same run of play.

Three points on the road against the second-best defensive outfit in the Premier League was certainly worth the price of admission for the traveling support, with Arteta’s young guns now sitting fifth and just one point behind West Ham with two matches in hand over David Moyes’ overachieving Hammers.

But Arsenal is not planning to be satisfied with just fighting for the outlying scraps among the top echelon in England; the club still harbors ambitions of once again challenging for major honors on all fronts, and to do so, further recruitment via the transfer market is required in order to add the requisite quality at the Emirates capable of aiding in Arsenal’s attempts to close the gap to Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool.

Using the successful summer transfer window as a blueprint moving forward, here are five players that Arsenal should look to move for in the upcoming summer window to kick their rebuild into overdrive.

Youri Tielemans | Granit Xhaka’s upgrade

One of the key names to be recently linked to Arsenal, Leicester City midfield stalwart and Belgian international Youri Tielemans has propelled himself high up the wanted list in north London and with the Foxes’ current struggles this season, a high finish in the table by the Gunners could see the former RSC Anderlecht starlet opt to move to the Emirates this summer.

Youri Tielemans included in list of five players Arsenal should target in expected summer squad retool

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 28: Youri Tielemans of Leicester City gives a thumbs up to the fans after the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on April 28, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City via Getty Images)

Tielemans is expected to break ties with Brenan Rodger’s outfit after refusing a contract extension at the King Power Stadium, which has put a number of high-profile clubs on alert including Arsenal. The 24-year-old’s contract runs down after next season and the need for Leicester to recoup on their investment in some measure will surely be on the priority list. Though his current market value stands at roughly £46million, Leicester surely could not drive a hard bargain for a player who wants out of the club and risk losing him for nothing 12-months later. His versatile qualities in midfield, Premier League experience, and age bracket make him a prime candidate to replace Granit Xhaka who is suspected to be subject to summer interest once again from AS Roma.

Alexander Isak | The next bright Arsenal center-forward?

The saga that has been Arsenal’s search for a new center-forward is one that provides a source of angst for many in the Gunners fanbase, but it has become clear that the Premier League giants are indeed looking to bring in a key player in that position that they can build the attack around for the long-term.

Having missed out on Serbian starlet Dušan Vlahović in January before the former FK Partizan academy graduate optioned for a move to Juventus, Arsenal made a last-ditch attempt in January to manufacture a move for Real Sociedad’s Swedish attacking stud Alexander Isak but were expectedly rebuffed by the Basque club. But the Gunners are likely to return again in the summer but a potential move could hit a snag on account of recent reports suggesting that Isak could pass on a move to Arsenal in favor of other more credible destinations if Mikel Arteta’s men fail to secure Champions League football for next season. Though other targets could be mentioned, the fact that Edu and the rest of the club brass lodged a bid for him in January means he should likely be considered the prime target and replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Douglas Luiz | Arsenal to solve the holding-midfield conundrum

The future of veteran Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka notwithstanding, the Gunners remain in need of reinforcements in the middle of the park especially if Egyptian international Mohamed Elneny could also exit the Emirates this summer.

Youri Tielemans included in list of five players Arsenal should target in expected summer squad retool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 22: Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Everton and Aston Villa at Goodison Park on January 22, 2022 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

While the club may have passed on signing Bruno Guimarães from Olympique Lyonnais before Newcastle swooped in and completed a shock move for the Brazilian, another Brazilian that could well be sought after by Mikel Arteta is Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz. The 23-year-old was already given the green light by Villa to leave the club in January if Steven Gerrard’s Villains received substantial offers or his services before the window closed and Arsenal was credited with having him on their transfer radar though they never tabled a formal offer for the holding midfielder. He would certainly tick a lot of boxes as well; age profile, tactical versatility, technical quality, Premier League experience, while finally providing the Gunners with a true holding midfielder they could add to their ranks for the first time in years.

Cody Gakpo | Versatile attacking option with a future

With Arsenal set to lose no less than three attacking players when Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah join Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in exiting north London, the Gunners will need more than just one attacking reinforcement in the summer but likely will not look to recruit two main strikers in such a short window, avoiding a mistake that brought the Auba-Laca tandem together in the first place.

Dutch international Cody Gakpo could fit the bill, however, with the 22-year-old PSV Eindhoven starlet already on the radar screens of a number of top English clubs which includes Manchester City and Liverpool. But City remains linked with Erling Haaland and already has a wealth of top attacking talent on offer at the Etihad, while Liverpool secured Luis Díaz in January and are on the verge of moving for Fulham’s Fabio Carvalho as well; where would Gakpo fit in? At Arsenal, the versatile forward could have a key role to play as both a developmental depth option and a player that could genuinely fight for his place in the first team as a profile capable of being deployed anywhere across the front three. And with the future of Bukayo Saka now being thrown into fresh doubt for the long term, Gakpo would certainly offer a very interesting option in the summer.

Tyler Adams | American talent train could continue in the Premier League

At current, Arsenal has reliable first-choice options and back-up plans at left-back as well as in both center-back positions for this season and beyond but questions currently will be asked when it comes to the depth at right-back.

Though Cédric Soares performed admirably in his deputy role against Wolves yesterday while first-choice option Takehiro Tomiyasu still recovers and puts himself on track for his return to playing duties, the Portuguese is not expected to remain at the club past the current season and, truthfully, the Gunners should be looking to upgrade on him moving forward. American international Tyler Adams would be an intriguing player to potentially move for in the summer market. Not primarily a right-back, Adams is rather a very talented jack of all trades and the 22-year-old is capable in three positions that would suit Arteta’s needs. Moreover, his acquisition would mean that the club does not have to look to move for a center-back in the summer and instead, could rely on Gabriel, Ben White, William Saliba, and Takehiro Tomiyasu as their four central defenders when Adams is deployed as a right-back. His ability to shine in midfield would also mean he could be called upon in a variety of tasks and would give Arteta his own version of Jams Milner; an important role for any modern club.


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Franck Kessie bids farewell to AC Milan ahead of Barcelona switch

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Franck Kessie bids farewell to AC Milan ahead of imminent Barcelona switch

 

AC Milan star Franck Kessie has taken to social media on Friday, to bid an emotional farewell to all associated with the club.

It has of course long been common knowledge that all-action midfielder Kessie’s time at the San Siro is primed to come to a close at the end of the month.

This comes with the Ivorian international having opted against putting pen to paper on a new contract in Milan, to instead take his talents to Spain.

Kessie’s next landing spot? La Liga heavyweights Barcelona.

As confirmed by a host of reliable sources, the 25-year-old earlier this year committed to a pre-contract agreement with the Blaugrana, set to tie him to the Catalan capital through the summer of 2026.

And now, as alluded to above, Kessie has for the first time made public his intention to bid AC Milan farewell.

In a post on his official Instagram account, the ex-Atalanta talent sent a personal message to all associated with the Rossoneri, first taking the time to celebrate the club’s first Scudetto triumph in over a decade:

“After five years, I couldn’t hope to end this great experience in a better way!”

“[It is] a unique emotion – we are champions of Italy!”

And, from here, Kessie went on to reveal his pride at having donned the colours of such a historic club, concluding that:

”[I am] proud to have worn this glorious jersey and to have shared this journey with fantastic companions! Thanks for everything! Thank you all!”

 

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Watch: Man United fans use Barcelona friendly to call Frenkie de Jong to Old Trafford

 






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Arsenal fans send message to club as Serge Gnabry’s price-tag revealed

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Arsenal fans send message to club as Serge Gnabry’s price-tag revealed

 

Supporters of Premier League outfit Arsenal have taken to social media in numbers on Friday evening, to send a message to the club over an alleged summer transfer target.

The player in question? Serge Gnabry.

For those not aware, recent days have seen wide-man Gnabry tipped for a shock return to the Emirates.

The German international of course spent four years on Arsenal’s books early in his career, ultimately failing to make the grade before sealing a return to his home country.

Gnabry, though, has since gone on to establish himself as one of the most highly-regarded wingers in Europe, with his haul of 17 goals across all competitions this past season a testament to as much.

Arsenal fans send message to club as Serge Gnabry’s price-tag revealed

MUNICH, GERMANY – MAY 08: Serge Gnabry in action during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and VfB Stuttgart at Allianz Arena on May 08, 2022 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Martin Hangen ATPImages/Getty Images)

Amid suggestions that Bayern Munich would be open to parting with the 26-year-old this summer, in a bid to avoid losing him for free in a year’s time, a whole host of clubs have therefore been tipped as potential landing spots ahead of the transfer window swinging open.

And one such club understood to be expressing a particularly keen interest in Gnabry comes in the form of the aforementioned Arsenal.

With Nicolas Pepe inching towards the exit door in north London, Mikel Arteta and co. are said to have identified the Bayern star as a potentially game-changing replacement.

And, as alluded to above, if the latest activity across social media on Friday evening is anything to go by, then it appears as though the Gunners faithful are very much in favour of a Gnabry-shaped reunion over the coming weeks.

On the back of reports spreading that the German is set to be available for a fee of around €40 million this summer, Arsenal’s supporters have flooded to Twitter, to send a crystal clear demand to the powers that be at the Emirates:

 

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Arsenal set sights on 2nd Man City star ahead of summer

 


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Chelsea to return for Jules Koundé as Sevilla name price for Frenchman

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Sevilla name their price for Jules Koundé as Chelsea remain keen on French international

Chelsea are set to return for highly-rated French international center-back Jules Koundé as the club are in the final stages of having a completed takeover bid usher in a new era at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have a long-standing interest in the 23-year-old Sevilla standout dating back to last summer, and the need for Chelsea to secure new options at the heart of the defense has become urgent with Antonio Rüdiger Real Madrid-bound this summer, and the German international set to be followed out the door by Andreas Christensen who will be without a club come July and with Barcelona still sniffing around the Danish defender.

Now, according to multiple outlets, including The Telegraph, AS, and transfer insider Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea plan to make Koundé one of two center-back signings this summer but will be made to pay at least €65million for the former Girondins Bordeaux academy product as Sevilla will look to extract maximum financial compensation in the wake of also parting ways with Aston Villa-bound Diego Carlos.

Though there is certainly an avenue for Koundé to access to secure a move to the Premier League outfit, who Chelsea intend to target as their second recruit in the center of defense remains to be seen after Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig have ruled out a summer departure for highly-touted youngster Joško Gvardiol, who is happy in Saxony and has no intention of considering a move away from the club after just one year of service.

Should a deal for Koundé be found, Chelsea still must negotiate the summer market expertly to replace two key pieces under manager Thomas Tuchel, with just Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr, and Trevoh Chalobah the other available center-back options as the Blues look to close the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool in 2022-23.


This article was edited by
Conor Laird.

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