Arsenal have reportedly joined the race to sign Michael Keane and are ready to battle local rivals Tottenham to land the Everton defender in the summer.
The Sun have reported that Arsenal are interested in Michael Keane. The Everton defender is on the Gunners’ radar, who have sent scouts to watch the player in action and determine subsequent action. Tottenham are also in the hunt for the English international and are prepared for a summer battle for the star.
The report iterates that Arsenal had their scouts present during Everton’s 2-0 win over West Ham United in order to assess Keane. But, according to Daily Express, Mauricio Pochettino has earmarked Michael Keane as his summer target to reinforce the backline and inject some youthful options into the defence.
Michael Keane is a former Manchester United man, but he found success after completing his transfer to Burnley. After establishing himself as a quality centre-back in the Premier League, the defender was snapped up by Everton as part of their huge summer overhaul two years ago.
Keane has had a few ups-and-downs at Goodison Park, but in due course, has not only established himself as a regular for Everton but also for the England National Team. With Keane showing all the right signs of becoming an even stronger character, a return to the bigwigs is on the cards, with Arsenal and Tottenham taking a keen look at the 26-year-old.
At Tottenham, Toby Alderweireld will enter the last year of his contract in the summer and Jan Vertonghen is set to turn 32 in April, leaving Davinson Sanchez as the only ‘secured’ primary option at the back, with Juan Foyth recognised more as a backup or rotation player.
Mauricio Pochettino has already spent heavy on Davinson Sanchez earlier but is reportedly ready to go one step further for £50 million rated Michael Keane.
Arsenal are looking to reinforce their central defence in the summer. Sokratis has established himself under Unai Emery, but Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny have both failed to impress. Nacho Monreal has done a commendable job but is on the wrong side of 30.
One thing that might hinder Arsenal’s chances is their budget. Unai Emery needs to add at least 3-4 quality players at varied positions with a tight purse and is unlikely to sanction a £50 million pursuit to land Keane, which would amount to a huge chunk of their summer transfer budget, if not the whole of it.
Everton are also unlikely to let Keane go without a fight. Marco Silva is into just his first season as the manager at Goodison Park and he would love to retain most of his key stars for the second season, which should determine how his spell at Everton will be labelled.
A lot depends on whether Spurs finish in the top four and go on to sell Toby Alderweireld in the summer. Should there be a departure from the centre-back department, Tottenham are likely to come knocking at Everton’s door for Michael Keane. And, with Champions League football on offer, the 26-year-old former Manchester United man will surely pay attention.