Arsenal are reportedly in pole position to sign Jakub Jankto, with Juventus and AC Milan cooling off their interest in the Udinese midfielder.
According to a report by Italian publication Calciomercato, Arsenal have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Jakub Jankto. Juventus and AC Milan have pulled out of the race to sign the Udinese midfielder, meaning the Gunners could have a clear run in their bid to sign him.
Jankto completed most of his footballing education at Slavia Prague before joining the youth setup at Udinese in 2014. One year later, the player was off to Ascoli on a season-long loan spell making rapid strides at the Serie B club to finally break into the first-team setup in Udine in 2016-17.
2016-17 turned out to be his breakthrough campaign for Udinese, making 30 appearances while also contributing to his team’s cause with five goals and four assists. Jankto has made further progress this season, having become a mainstay in midfield, playing all but one game for the Zebrette.
His exploits have not gone unnoticed either, with the Czech midfielder drawing comparisons with Tomas Rosicky for his style of play and effortless passing abilities. Jankto is also garnering a lot of interest from clubs across Europe, with Arsenal, Juventus and AC Milan reported to be among the clubs tailing him.
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Arsenal have been monitoring the player’s progress for a long time now, with reports of a possible move in the summer as well. With midfield being an area of concern for the Gunners, the interest does not really come off as a surprise.
Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey have been the first-choice midfield pairing for Arsene Wenger for a while now, but both players have often frustrated due to their inconsistent displays. To make matters worse, Jack Wilshere’s future is up in the air, with the Englishman being linked with a winter exit to boost his World Cup hopes.
Juventus and AC Milan have reportedly been in the market for a central midfielder as well, but the report suggests that the Serie A duo have cooled off their interest in Jankto. While the Bianconeri will now focus on other transfer targets, Milan’s position on signing a central midfielder is unclear.
Jankto’s next destination now seems likely to be the Premier League, with Arsenal favourites to sign him. The 21-year-old reportedly has a release clause of £6 million, which wouldn’t put much of a dent in the Gunners’ purse, should they pursue a move for him.
It now remains to be seen if Arsenal are able to secure the services of Jankto anytime soon, and a switch to the Emirates might just be an interesting twist of fate for the “next Tomas Rosicky”.