Tavares, Lokonga, Locatelli and More

A deal has been reached to sign Nuno Tavares from Benfica.

Depending on which journalist you believe, the fee is between £6million and £9million.

Tavares will become Mikel Arteta’s first signing of the summer and will provide the first choice cover to Kieran Tierney at left back. His signing will hopefully be the first of many this summer.

We are also still heavily linked with Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Arsenal will be looking to add 2 central midfielders to the squad alongside Thomas Partey and Mo Elneny.

Lokonga’s signing goes into the “one for the future” box.

We should not expect the 21-year-old to go straight into the first team – he would more likely be the like for like cover for Partey.

That would leave Arsenal still in the market for a starting midfielder.

We have been linked with Brighton’s Yves Bissouma for a few months, but that trial seems to have gone cold.

In recent hours (literally) news has broken of an apparent bid for Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli.

The Italian midfielder is a fantastic player and would become not only Arsenal’s best midfielder but one of the best in the Premier League. But I am sceptical about the links.

News of the bid has come from Sassuolo’s Chief Executive Giovanni Carnevali.

A deal for Locatelli to Juventus looked pretty much done last week. Carnevali releasing the news that Arsenal had “bid” feels more like him trying to get the hurry up from Juventus ahead of meeting next week with them over the transfer.

By releasing the Arsenal bid – whether true or not – it makes it clear to Juventus that there are other parties interested and they had better hurry up and meet Sassuolo’s demands or risk missing out on the transfer.

And to throw another spanner in the works Juventus were linked to Granit Xhaka yesterday.

I hope I am wrong as Locatelli would be a fantastic signing.

Finally Ainsley Maitland-Niles flipped his car on the M25 yesterday morning.

If rumours are true, the incident will probably spell an end to his Arsenal career.



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