Arsenal have reportedly ‘fallen short’ in their initial bid for Declan Rice, offering £10million less than West Ham are demanding for their captain. Back in January, Arsenal vetoed an £85m move for Mykhaylo Mudryk and instead signed Leandro Trossard for the much cheaper fee of £30m.
Express Sport looks at five midfielders who could be this summer’s Trossard if Arsenal decide not to spend so heavily
Arsenal could seal a bargain free transfer by luring Ilkay Gundogan from Premier League title nemeses Manchester City. While a different profile of player to Rice, the German’s potential arrival would add plenty of quality to Arsenal’s squad.
Gundogan would bring experience and leadership to a young team whose lack of strong personalities and know-how partially cost them the title. The 32-year-old is out of contract with City at the end of the season and while the champions-elect are keen to extend his deal, there is a chance that Mikel Arteta could tempt Gundogan to make the switch.
Chelsea loan flop Saul Niguez returned from his disappointing spell in the Premier League and has featured more prominently for Atletico Madrid this season. While still only starting nine La Liga games, Saul made 36 appearances during the campaign.
The 28-year-old could be available for transfer, with Atletico possibly willing to let go of their former prodigy. His Chelsea spell won’t have wowed fans, but Saul remains a good player who would add quality to Arsenal’s midfield at a cheaper price than Rice.
Arsenal were previously linked with Saul when he first broke into the Atletico team in the mid-2010s. The Spaniard was rumoured to be of interest to Valencia during the January transfer window, hinting that Atletico might be happy to part ways.
Like Saul, Brazil international Arthur Melo has endured a tough loan spell in England. The midfielder suffered an ACL injury during the first weeks of his Liverpool career, all but ending his chances of featuring for the Reds.
But fit and firing again, Arthur could be available in the summer. Given that he was allowed to leave Juventus last year, the Italian side could lend him out once again ahead of the 2023-24 season.
An excellent player who was not able to show his true ability at Anfield, there will be clubs fighting for his signature. Arsenal may be one.
Renato Sanches has enjoyed a career revival over the last few years, developing well at Lille before earning a move to Paris Saint-Germain last summer. The Portuguese star’s impact with the Parisians has been limited by injuries.
PSG are set for a mini overhaul in the summer, promising a new era with a core of French talent at the centre. Arsenal could take advantage of that, prising away a player in Sanches with whom they were linked several years ago.