Arsenal have been told that they will have to cough up £18m to sign Dinamo Zagreb defender Josip Sutalo this summer as they look to bolster their backline once more under Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners were leading the Premier League, but injuries to Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba have derailed that charge somewhat, with three consecutive draws and a defeat seeing them fall to second in the table behind Manchester City, who have played a game less than Arteta’s side.
They are looking to replace Rob Holding in their ranks this summer, and have identified several options including Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi, though he would likely be a significantly more costly option than anticipated.
One alternative is Sutalo, who currently plays for Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb, and could be available for just £18m this summer, with Dinamo ready to part ways with the 23-year-old defender.
Leeds United were thought to also be interested, but should the Gunners come knocking, it may be prove too good to turn down.
Quizzed on the links, Sutalo didn’t shut the door on a move, though he admitted that nothing was advanced.
“Obviously you know something that I don’t. I don’t deal with those things. I am concentrating exclusively on Dinamo, the national team and my game. I am of the opinion that we (young players) should go step by step”, he told HITC.
“As for those rumours, it is a kind of proof that I am on the right path. Am I ready to leave? I can only say that I am very happy in my Dinamo. On the other hand, we know how Dinamo works and we’ll see what happens in the summer.”
With big-money additions required elsewhere in the squad, and the likes of Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo both on their shopping list, a compromise in defence in the form of Sutalo could be a welcome option.