Speculation across the European media this weekend has seen a trio of players linked with Premier League giants Arsenal.
Arteta’s struggling squad
Amid another largely-disappointing campaign to this point, Arsenal are expected to be active on the transfer front upon the reopening of the market over the coming months.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic brought football across Europe to a standstill, the Gunners sat 9th in the Premier League table.
The capital giants were also ousted from the Europa League in heartbreaking fashion by Greek outfit Olympiacos late in February, on the back of a late collapse.
As such, another season without Champions League football looms large for Mikel Arteta’s men in 2020/21.
The prospect of missing out on a spot in Europe’s top-tier competition once again, meanwhile, has led to inevitable rumours that some of the club’s top talent could be on the move this summer.
The key name to have been tipped for an Arsenal exit to this point has been Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who, amid another fruitful campaign in front of goal, has been persistently linked with La Liga champions Barcelona.
As a result, if, as expected, a number of players do eventually depart the Emirates ahead of next season, Mikel Arteta’s paper-thin squad will be stretched to its limits.
Such a scenario, though, would no doubt also see a host of new faces arrive in north London over the months to come.
And, as outlined above, three potential summer arrivals at the Emirates have been named in the media over the last 24 hours.
The first is Barcelona goalkeeper Neto.
Reports suggest that Brazilian shot-stopper Neto is on the way out of the Camp Nou after just one season, having made little impression as backup to Marc-André ter Stegen.
The experienced 30-year-old, though, is nevertheless thought to be of interest to a host of clubs around Europe, including Arsenal.
Neto would likely be brought to north London to provide competition to undisputed current no.1 Bernd Leno.
The next player whom the Gunners are reported to have registered their interest in is Hellas Verona standout Marash Kumbulla.
20-year-old central-defender Kumbulla has enjoyed a breakout campaign in Serie A, playing a key role in Verona’s surprise 8th-place berth in the Italian top-flight table.
The likes of Inter Milan and Everton are thought to be keeping a close eye on the Albanian international’s development, but, as per the Mirror, citing FC Inter News, Arsenal have now positioned themselves firmly in the hunt for Kumbulla’s signature.
The Verona stopper, however, is not the only young talent to have recently been named as a firm target of the Gunners.
As reported by Goal, Velez Sarsfield prodigy Thiago Almada is also of interest to Mikel Arteta and co.
Almada, 19, has previously been dubbed ‘the next Messi’ in his home country of Argentina, and is capable of playing either on the wing or in a more central role.
Arsenal, for their part, are said to have made their interest in the Albiceleste youth international, who has racked up 46 appearances at senior level, known to Velez, ahead of a potential summer bid.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.