Arsenal are exploring the possibility of signing Dennis Praet from Sampdoria in the summer to strengthen their midfield for next season.
Arsenal have not had a stable midfield in years now, and the club, like last summer, will try to sign a few players who can play in the center. Daily Star is reporting of possible interest in Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet, as Unai Emery considers him among others as one of the players Arsenal might like to have.
Praet is only the latest to the long list of midfielders linked with a summer move to Arsenal. The Gunners are somewhat considered light in the area, especially once Aaron Ramsey leaves for Juventus in the summer. Praet could be viewed as a replacement for the Welshman, although his record does not show the prolific stats Ramsey gathers season after season.
Arsenal raided the Italian market for Lucas Torreira, signing him from Sampdoria itself the previous summer, and are thought to be entering the market again. Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella was considered to be high on Arsenal’s list, but his asking price of £43 million could prove to be a hindrance, the report claims.
Arsenal reportedly have a summer budget of £45 million, which could increase if they manage to qualify for next season’s Champions League as well as clear out some of their ageing, high-earning members. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is thought to be on that list of potential exits, although the club might also decide to move on Mesut Ozil.
With Barella deemed expensive, Arsenal are reportedly ready to settle on Praet. The Belgian is reportedly available for £21.5 million in the summer, a price that certainly fits Arsenal’s budget and Emery was apparently interested in him last season. The Gunners, however, ended up signing Praet’s midfield partner, Torreira, who has gone on to have an excellent first season.
Arsenal will be considered favourites for Praet’s signature in the summer window, although Juventus are also reportedly interested in him. As Juventus have already signed up Ramsey, they might not seriously pursue Praet, leaving Arsenal’s path clear, and if Emery agrees on the choice, the club might make an early offer.
However, Praet is not the only option for Arsenal as the Londoners chase Hoffenheim’s Karem Demirbay, PSG’s Christopher Nkunku, while Bournemouth star Ryan Fraser is also on the list. The Gunners have also been linked with a move for Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes, who is currently on loan at Everton.
The list of potential midfield targets could continue to rise until the summer window re-opens, but as for now, Praet seems like a good target for Arsenal’s midfield, and with the success of Torreira at the Emirates, he too could be optimistic about a move. At 24 years of age, he also could establish himself at the Premier League powerhouse as a top midfielder in the years to come.