Arsenal have reportedly beaten Premier League rivals Manchester United in the race to sign Erik Tobias Sandberg. The Gunners have also tabled an opening bid for Torino right-back Bruno Peres.
Erik Sandberg is set to join Arsenal
According to the Metro, Arsenal have agreed on a deal to sign highly-rated Norwegian centre-back Erik Tobias Sandberg. It is reported that the London club saw off interest from fellow English side Manchester United, and quickly made their move to sign the player. The young defender is heavily touted as one of the next big stars in world football.
The 16-year old has been offered a scholarship contract which would turn into a professional one once he turns 17. Sandberg has impressed on the international stage while representing the under-16 Norwegian side, and would strengthen the youth setup at the Emirates. He is understood to be a composed figure on the ball and could soon develop into one of the better defenders in Europe.
Given Wenger’s current defensive options, he may soon need to bring in reinforcements to the Emirates. Per Mertesacker is aged 31 and probably has his best days behind him, while Laurent Kosicelny has been far too inconsistent for the Gunners’ liking. Sandberg will join Arsenal from Norwegian outfit Lillestrom, where he has been making strides as part of the under-18s team, and would play a similar role at the Emirates.
Wenger eyeing Torino right-back Bruno Peres
As reported by Gianluca Di Mazrio (h/t 90 Min), Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has made the first move in order to lure Torino right-back Bruno Peres to the Emirates. The Brazilian defender has also been a target of 2015/16 Premier League champions Leicester City. It is understood that the two English sides are set to go full steam ahead in securing Peres’ signature.
The 26-year old enjoyed a decent last season in the Serie A. In his 31 appearances, the Brazilian managed to score 3 goals and register 4 assists. He also maintained a high pass accuracy of 82.4 per cent and won 1.7 tackles per game (via WhoScored). Peres is known to possess impeccable dribbling and crossing abilities, and would be an imposing presence in both halves of the pitch.
Given his age of 26, he may already have hit his peak as a player. Current Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin is 5 years younger to him and is in the form of his life, so bringing in someone like Peres would only give him a role on the bench. If, however, he chooses to make the move to the King Power stadium, he would most likely fit directly into Claudio Ranieri’s playing eleven, usurping Danny Simpson at right-back. Undoubtedly, the next few days are key in deciding the fate of the highly-rated Brazilian defender.