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Arsenal eyeing signings in five positions, but Maddison transfer ‘unlikely’

Arsenal are set for a busy summer of recruitment with the club keen to make signings in five positions, but a move for Leicester midfielder James Maddison appears ‘unlikely’.

Mikel Arteta is in the process of overhauling his squad following a disappointing Premier League campaign, with the north London side having missed out on European qualification after finishing eighth – their lowest league finish since the 1994/95 campaign.

 

Arsenal have moved quickly and are pushing ahead to complete deals for Anderlecht youngster Albert Sambi Lokonga and Brighton defender Ben White, discussions continuing with the Seagulls over a deal for the latter which could cost around £50m.

The Gunners saw an opening offer of £40m rejected for the England international with Brighton holding out for a guaranteed sum of £50m, though there is understood to be ‘confidence’ that a compromise is close to being struck.

The Athletic are reporting that those deals are just the start of a busy summer of activity however, with Arsenal keen to strengthen in a whole host of areas across the pitch, including a creative midfielder, goalkeeper, experienced central midfield player and in both full-back positions.

Arteta has been dealt a blow after Martin Odegaard suggested he will be remaining at Real Madrid this summer, with the Norway international having been Arsenal’s leading creative target after spending the second half of last season on loan at the Emirates.

The north London side also made an approach for Emiliano Buendia before his move from Norwich to Aston Villa, whilst the club have been linked with Leicester star Maddison.

However, there is a sense that any deal for the 24-year-old could prove ‘prohibitively expensive’ in a summer where major changes are expected and there has yet been no movement on a potential deal.

RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams and Sassuolo’s Mert Muldur have emerged as targets at right-back with both Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles expected to leave, whilst Real Madrid teenager Miguel Gutierrez has been named as a target to provide cover for Kieran Tierney on the opposite flank.

Strengthening in central midfield also appears a priority with Granit Xhaka expected to join Roma and loanee Dani Ceballos having returned to Real Madrid, with Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Italy international Manuel Locatelli on the club’s radar.

Locatelli is understood to be more likely to join Juventus from Sassuolo however, having starred for Italy at Euro 2020 this summer.

The final position Arsenal are looking to reinforce is in goal with the club having held talks with Sheffield United over Aaron Ramsdale, having previously considered a move for Ajax shot-stopper Andre Onana.

Onana has entered the final year of his contract with the Dutch side and has previously attracted interest from across Europe, though is currently serving a nine-month ban for doping violations.

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