Valencia are reportedly set to rival Arsenal and Lyon in pursuit of Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina in the summer.
According to a report in TransferMarketWeb, Valencia, Arsenal and Lyon are all interested in signing Mario Lemina, and are set for a three-way battle to land the Gabonese midfielder from Juventus in the summer transfer window.
Lemina progressed through the ranks at Lorient before making the grade with the senior side in 2012. However, he only spent a solitary season with the club’s first-team squad before moving to Marseille.
Arsenal are lining up a bid for 23-year-old Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina. pic.twitter.com/d3ulS44RRS
— Transfer Centre Live (@TransferCentreL) May 18, 2017
The player emerged as one of the most exciting young midfield prospects in France during his time with Les Phoceens, but after two successful campaigns with the side, he joined Juventus in 2015.
However, Lemina has struggled to establish himself as a regular in Massimiliano Allegri’s first-team squad thus far, managing to make just 41 appearances over the last two seasons for the Bianconeri.
Despite a severe lack of minutes though, the Gabon international is still considered as one of the most promising midfielders in Europe, and the likes of Valencia, Arsenal and Lyon have registered an interest in signing him in the summer.
At Valencia, manager Voro is eager to overturn his side’s fortunes after two seasons of bottom half finishes in La Liga. But while midfield hasn’t quite been a problem area for Los Che, with the likes of Daniel Parejo, Enzo Perez and Carlos Soler being consistent, the team lacks a ball carrier from the centre of the park – a problem which Lemina can solve.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, too, has a host of central midfielders at his disposal, but consistency has been a big problem at the heart of midfield. The likes of Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey have all blown hot and cold, with only the latter two players making a case for inclusion next season.
On top of that, Wenger’s problems have been compounded by Santi Cazorla being sidelined for the majority of the campaign by an Achilles injury. The future of Jack Wilshere, who is on loan at Bournemouth, is mired in uncertainty too, accentuating Arsenal’s need to sign a top quality midfielder.
Meanwhile, midfield has been an area of concern for Lyon manager Bruno Genesio, who has struggled to find a consistent partner for Corentin Tolisso in the centre of the park. The Frenchman himself is being linked with a summer exit from the club as well, thus making the addition of a midfielder an urgent need for the Lyon boss.
Thus, a three-way battle seems to be setting up for Lemina, with Valencia, Arsenal and Lyon all keen on signing the player. With all three teams likely to offer regular game time, it remains to be seen which way the Gabonese heads off to in the summer.