The focus for Arsenal’s investment in the summer is very much on the striker position. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang already gone and Alexandre Lacazette plus Eddie Nketiah likely to follow, as many of two forwards could be brought in.
football.london understands that Arsenal are indeed looking at forwards as part of their transfer plans this summer. Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City looks to be at the forefront of their preparations, too.
However, should the club spend heavily in this area, it would leave other areas that need to be strengthened with less financial strength to tackle them, with the full-back slot identified as an area where the club could improve.
READ MORE: Takehiro Tomiyasu’s new role hinted at as Mikel Arteta ‘targets’ Arsenal right-back transfer
With both Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu out due to injury, their absence affected Arsenal’s form. Replacements Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares have looked vulnerable and bringing in a versatile option would make a lot of sense.
Interestingly, the club have been linked to Udinese’s Nahuel Molina. The Argentine is a versatile player who has played the majority of games at right wing-back. But he has also featured at right-back, right-wing, left wing-back and even central midfield.
Those concerned that the wing-back system used by Udinese would make him ill-suited to Arsenal need not worry. His 15 appearances for the senior Argentinian national side have all been in the right-back role.
At 24, he represents a seriously attractive profile and a good contrast to Tomiyasu and Cedric. However, reports suggest Udinese want a fee in the region of €25m-€30m (£21m-£25m) according to Il Messaggero Veneto, via Calcio News.
This would be a sizeable investment, especially if Arsenal’s expensive plans in the forward and central midfield areas come to fruition. Atletico Madrid are also interested in the player as well as Juventus, making the possibility of a bidding war a distinct possibility.
However, Arsenal have an advantage over both sides and a way to earn themselves a cut-price deal. Pablo Mari is currently on loan with Udinese and the Italian side are keen on keeping him.
Sporting director Pierpaolo Marino told DAZN that he will try and retain his services. “Mari is an Arsenal player, it’s typical that a player like that comes to Udinese, not because we don’t deserve him, but because in general, the way is the opposite. It will be difficult to keep him but we will try,” he said.
Not only could the move help Arsenal to lower Molina’s price in a potential player-plus-cash deal, but Mari’s performance bonus clause in his Gunners contract would no longer apply. This would be a very smart piece of business by the club.
Whilst right-back may not have appeared an area of heavy interest this summer, this does not now appear to be the case. Arteta wants to fully strengthen and reinforce his squad and a savvy move for Molina may be a perfect way to do so.
Source by Football London