Arsenal FC

Deal getting closer: Arsenal are now ‘willing to do anything’ to sign £53m Seria A midfielder in January after Thomas Partey’s clumsy Southampton display

In their search for a new midfielder, Arsenal have been linked with a number of talents across Europe.

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The Gunners were keen to add Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz to their squad in the summer transfer window, but his move failed to materialise after the Midlands club rejected three offers. The Brazilian was close to joining the Emirates Stadium but signed a new long-term contract to stay at Villa Park until 2027.

Leicester star Youri Tielemans is another player of long-term interest to Arsenal, but a move for the Belgian may have to wait until next summer, according to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has long been linked with a move to the Premier League. The Serbian midfielder continues to impress in Serie A with the Italian side.

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The 27-year-old midfielder is attracting interest from the English top flight. Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing the midfield maestro. The Serbian international has already scored 11 goals in 14 appearances in all competitions so far this season and could be the ideal addition to Mikel Arteta’s squad in January.

According to Italian media outlet Calciomercatoweb, the north London club are “desperate” to seal a deal for the Serbian and have already considered an offer to put on the table, keen to start negotiations. The offer would include current Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga in the opposite direction, as well as a fee in the region of £43m to sweeten the deal.

Lokonga was linked with Serie A champions AC Milan this summer, but the young midfielder has decided to stay at the Emirates Stadium and fight for a place in Arteta’s starting line-up. The 23-year-old played just 526 minutes, his only opportunities coming as a rotational option in the Europa League or as emergency cover for Thomas Partey when the Ghanaian suffered a muscle injury earlier in the campaign.

Lokonga recently revealed that he “almost exploded” at the end of last season, frustrated by his lack of game time under Arteta, and had seriously considered his future at the Emirates Stadium. “Honestly, it’s difficult. I’m at one of the best clubs in England. I could have played somewhere else every weekend, but it wouldn’t have been the right solution for me,” said the Belgian midfielder.

Arteta could try to sign Lokonga in January if he can secure the signature of Milinkovic-Savic, who is considered one of Italy’s best midfielders, to strengthen his team at domestic and European level.

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