Yves Bissouma has been linked with a summer move to Arsenal.
And in a boost for Mikel Arteta who is looking to overhaul his first-team squad, it would appear that the Gunners are in pole position to win the race for the 24-year-old’s signature amid links to Manchester United.
Tipped as the perfect midfield partner for Thomas Partey, Arteta got a chance to get a closer look at Bissouma on the final day of the Premier League season as the Gunners recorded a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.
Following an impressive performance, some Arsenal fans have a theory that Nicolas Pepe was doing his best to convince his former Lille teammate to reunite with him in north London next season after the pair were spotted in conversation at the final whistle last Sunday.
With that said, Bissouma isn’t the only name on Arteta and technical director Edu’s shortlist as they look to sign a central midfielder this summer.
Sander Berge of Sheffield United is being watched, while some fans have clamored for Ruben Neves to be taken under consideration amid reports that he could leave Wolves this summer.
But another midfield option appears to be the most popular choice amongst supporters on Reddit and it’s one that would be perfect for Partey.
According to Marca, Saul Niguez – a former teammate of the Ghana international – is set on leaving Atletico Madrid this summer after seeing his role under Diego Simeone change this season.
Whilst Juventus are listed as the favourites to sign Saul, some Arsenal fans think the 26-year-old would be the alternative to Bissouma.
ZephNoir said: “Swap with Torreira.”
TrailerParkBoy2 said: “Very good player, I would love this to happen.”
DySctr said: “Haven’t heard good things about him this season but as we know form is temporary. Would be a good tactical fit to replace Xhaka, there were some mild links with Merino too.
“Hope we do well man, for once start buying good.”
However, as pointed out by several other Arsenal fans, there is one major problem that the Gunners would encounter if they attempted to sign Saul.
Despite the midfielder’s estimated £42m transfer value, as per CIES Football Observatory, he signed a nine-year contract with Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2017.
With that deal running out in 2023, the La Liga champions would be in a strong negotiating position and that would be bad news for Arsenal.
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According to The Athletic, the Spanish were said to be ‘furious’ with Arsenal for not giving them adequate notice regarding the Partey deal last summer, with a source adding the relationship between the two clubs is “irreparable”.
Of course, the Gunners wouldn’t have to negotiate with Atletico to sign Saul, but they would have to activate his reported £128m release clause.
A fee that seems far too steep for Arsenal at this present moment.