David Luiz’s imminent departure leaves Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta with a big decision to make.
It was announced earlier in the month that the experienced defender will leave the Gunners when his contract officially expires at the end of May following two years in north London.
A £16.2m signing in January 2020, the 22-year-old made 39 appearances across all competitions this season and has been linked to big clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool in the past.
In addition, previous reports have suggested that an ‘astronomical fee’ would be needed to convince Leverkusen to let Tapsoba go.
However, Arsenal have apparently ‘manifested a strong interest’ in Tapsoba and are ‘favourites’ to sign him.
If that’s the case then the Gunners will have to trigger the defender’s reported £44m release clause in his contract at the BayArena to make him their first signing of the summer.
During the January transfer window, Liverpool were reportedly interested in signing Tapsoba but turned to Ozan Kabak after Leverkusen refused to sanction his departure for less than his release clause.
Of course, the perfect Luiz replacement may already be at Arsenal thus helping Arteta and technical director Edu to save millions in the summer market.
William Saliba has completed his loan spell at Nice and is already looking forward to what could finally be his breakthrough season at Arsenal – two years after signing from the club.
“It was a season with a lot of learning,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’m looking forward to the next season, see you all soon.”
Speaking about the Frenchman last week, Arteta did reveal his plans for the 20-year-old amid talk of him replacing David Luiz as one of the options at centre-back next season.
“You will see in the summer, the possible replacement,” said Arteta. “William [Saliba] is our player for sure and that’s the decision we’re going to be taking soon.
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“When we finish the season we will sit down and discuss the roles of every member in our squad and how they can fulfil that role.
“He’s our player so he’ll be back here for sure.
“After that, we will make a decision based on an agreement of the role each player is going to have in our squad.”