Football

Arsenal's midfield transfer plan emerges as Bayern Munich 'join race for Hakimi'


Of course, Arsenal’s main focus at present is their vital second-leg clash with Villarreal.

The Gunners are potentially 90 minutes away from their second European final in three years, while the Europa League presents them with the ideal chance to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

But manager Mikel Arteta is also faced with a number of conundrums ahead of the summer transfer window – and he must come up with solutions fast.

A particular problem area is in midfield; Arsenal have relied on Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard throughout the second half of the season but the pair are due to return to parent club Real Madrid in a matter of weeks.

With no loan extensions or permanent deals yet in the pipeline, the Gunners may be left light in the centre of the park ahead of the new campaign.

As such, it is no surprise that reports across Europe claim Arsenal are monitoring midfield recruits.

Also featuring an update on Achraf Hakimi, here is Thursday’s Arsenal transfer round-up.

Gunners’ midfield plan



The Turkey ace has also been linked with Manchester United
The Turkey ace has also been linked with Manchester United

Arsenal will look to sign AC Milan playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu if Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard return to Real Madrid, according to reports in Italy.

On-loan midfielders Ceballos and Odegaard are due to leave the Emirates to rejoin their parent club this summer.

The Gunners are especially keen on keeping hold of Odegaard, but are yet to make any progress on a permanent transfer or a loan extension.

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As such, Milan Live claim Arsenal could target Calhanoglu, who will be available for free at the end of the season, as it stands.

The 27-year-old – who has 13 goals or assists in Serie A this term – would like to extend his stay at San Siro but there has been little progress on contract negotiations.

But Arsenal will face competition from Juventus and Galatasaray – Calhanoglu’s boyhood club – to sign the Turkey international.

Which midfielder would you like Arsenal to sign this summer? Have your say in the comments.

Rodriguez still on the radar



Rodriguez has been a standout performer for Real Betis this season
Rodriguez has been a standout performer for Real Betis this season

A midfield shake-up certainly appears likely to take place at Arsenal this summer in light of Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos’ likely returns to Real Madrid.

While reports in Italy talk up Arsenal’s interest in AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu, the latest speculation in Spain claims Emirates chiefs continue to court Real Betis’ Guido Rodriguez

Estadio Deportivo asserts the Gunners are closing in on an agreement with the Seville-based club to sign the Argentine midfielder.

Rodriguez is a defensive-minded player and has an eye-watering release clause which is set at £69.5million. Real Betis were believed to be standing firm on that price tag, but the report claims their financial issues mean they will now entertain offers in the region of £43million.

Bayern to rival Gunners for Hakimi



Hakimi has been a key cog in Inter's title-winning side this season
Hakimi has been a key cog in Inter’s title-winning side this season

Achraf Hakimi has been heavily linked with a move to the north London club for many months – but Arsenal will face competition from Bayern Munich to sign the Inter Milan wide man.

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That’s according to German outlet Tz , which claims Hakimi may be available for £50million this summer, one year on from when he joined from Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed a stunning season with Inter, helping the Nerazzurri win Serie A with his tally of seven goals and seven assists from the right flank.

A versatile player, Arsenal are believed to see him as a right-back who could replace Hector Bellerin, should the Spaniard depart.

But incoming Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is said to be very keen on Hakimi, who shone for Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund during a two-year loan spell.

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