Wednesday, February 28News That Matters

Ajax respond to Arsenal’s bid for key Erik ten Hag transfer target

Arsenal are on the verge of finalising their first major signing of the summer in the form of Porto’s Fabio Vieira and have identified their next major target.

The Gunners are set to confirm the arrival of the Portugal Under-21 international within the next few days after the playmaker arrived in London for his medical on Friday.

According to The Athletic, Mikel Arteta will now focus his attention on improving his defensive ranks with the addition of a left-sided centre-half.

Arsenal are also hopeful of securing deals for Man City striker Gabriel Jesus, Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans and Leeds United winger Raphinha, but a player capable of competing with Gabriel Magalhaes is next on their agenda.

The Brazil star impressed last campaign and was a near ever-present, but with European football on the agenda next term, Arteta feels the club are short in that department while Gabriel himself is reported to be a target of Juventus.

Arsenal have reportedly seen a €30m bid for Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez rejected, but are expected to return with an improved offer for a player who is keen to join.

Arteta believes Martinez could act as cover for Kieran Tierney, who missed the run-in last season after suffering another injury set-back.

Arsenal have been linked with Tierney’s Scotland international teammate, Aaron Hickey, but are facing major competition from a number of Premier League teams.

Arteta is also believed to be interested in Oleksandr Zinchenko, on account of his versatility, but the Ukraine captain’s preference is to remain at City and sign a new deal.

Erik ten Hag, meanwhile, had earmarked Martinez as one of the players he had hoped to bring with him from Ajax to Man United, but the Dutchman is enduring a frustrating start to his rebuilding project.

The Red Devils are currently struggling to agree a fee with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong, while Jurrien Timber has chosen to remain with Ajax.

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