Arsenal have already made contact with Everton over a potential deal for midfielder Amadou Onana, according to Sport (page 8).
The Belgium international was regularly linked with the Gunners in the last transfer window. It was reported that his agent also spoke with the club’s officials.
Sport now claim that Everton have ‘already’ received calls from interested teams and ‘especially Arsenal’.
Aside from the Gunners, Barcelona and Chelsea have also made contact with the Merseyside outfit, but it is claimed that the former can’t afford him this summer.
Barcelona’s sporting director Deco is reluctant to pay more than €40 million amid the club’s financial issues. Everton currently value their midfielder at €60m.
Arsenal likely to sign new defensive midfielder
The Gunners are likely to invest on a new number six at the end of the campaign. Thomas Partey is no longer a reliable figure amid his regular injury concerns.
The Ghanaian has played only five games for the Gunners this season and he is currently on the sidelines after a recurrence of his thigh problem in team training.
Both him and Mohamed Elneny could leave the club this summer while Jorginho could also pursue a new challenge when his contract concludes at the end of June.
The Gunners have the option to extend his stay for 12 months, but the Italian could opt for a new club, suppose they sign another marquee holding midfielder.
Onana has been on the club’s radar for a while. The Belgian is a powerful defensive midfielder and has already proved his credentials in the Premier League.
The 22-year-old has won an impressive 2.6 tackles and 7.1 duels per game alongside 6.6 ball recoveries. He has the knack of making clever tactical fouls too.
However, his distribution has not been the best with an accuracy of 84 per cent. This could be a potential hurdle towards him joining the Gunners in the summer.
In our view, manager Mikel Arteta may have to choose between Onana and Martin Zubimendi.
Zubimendi, who plays for Real Sociedad, has been another long-term transfer target.
The Spaniard has a release clause worth €60 million in his current contract. He has refused to leave Sociedad in recent years, but could move this time around.
The 24-year-old has similar attributes to Onana but he is better with the ball at his feet (86 per cent pass accuracy). Arteta could give preference to signing his compatriot.
Stats from Transfermartkt.com & Sofascore.com