Arsenal are plotting another attack on Manchester City as their rebuild continues into the summer.
Mikel Arteta has informed the club that Aymeric Laporte is now his main defensive target, according to the Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, as he hopes to steer Juventus to the Spain international’s signature. Laporte, 28, is said to have become frustrated at Man City after falling into Pep Guardiola’s pecking order towards the end of last season.
Guardiola favored the likes of Nathan Ake, John Stones and Manuel Akanji alongside the ever-reliable Ruben Dias during City’s treble-winning campaign, with Laporte reduced to a supporting role during the run-up. It is now believed that Laporte has informed his boss that now is the right time for him to move on and seek a new challenge.
Arsenal have been a regular at Man City of late, having signed both Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus ahead of last season’s title challenge. The Gunners ultimately fell short to City, lacking depth and experience at crucial moments.
A major reason for costing Arsenal in their title challenge was the loss of key defender William Saliba for a number of games towards the end of the campaign, and Arteta believes Laporte’s presence could prevent a similar slump next season. .
When City sold Zinchenko and Jesus to Arsenal 12 months ago, he probably wouldn’t have seen the Londoners as a real rival for the Premier League title. But that has now changed after the Gunners led the way for most of last season. Whether this would prevent the club from selling to them this time around remains to be seen.
Juventus have also shown strong interest in Laporte, who has won five Premier League titles and the Champions League at the Etihad, but the player may prefer to stay in England.
Arsenal are said to be close to landing West Ham captain Declan Rice in a deal worth more than €110 million.
More Arsenal stories
Arsenal transfer newskicks off this summer, withthe Gunners planned to relax their pay structureto attract the best players.
Jurrien Timber seems to be next in line,Moises Caicedo is strongly connected,Xavi Simons is on the radar,Ivan Fresneda could joinalthoughArsenal could sell £100 million worth of playersat.Romeo Lavia is in the crosshairs– althoughLiverpool want him too.
In the meantimeFolarin Balogun is valued at £50 million.
Adblock test (Why?)