Arsenal are reportedly set to battle Liverpool in the race to sign 18-year-old defender Malick Thiaw from Schalke this summer.
According to a report by Daily Mail, 18-year-old defender Malick Thiaw is the subject of interest from Arsenal. The Gunners have joined Premier League rivals Liverpool in pursuit of the Schalke youngster, who could be on the move in the summer transfer window.
Malick Thiaw joined Schalke from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2015 and has since made massive strides in the youth setup at the Bundesliga club. A regular member of the Royal Blues’ under-19 side, Thiaw has made such a lasting impression that he was handed his senior bow earlier this season.
Now looking set to establish himself in the first-team setup at Schalke, the player’s progress has been duly noted by clubs outside Bundesliga as well. Liverpool have been heavily linked with the 18-year-old lately and the Reds have now been joined by Arsenal in pursuit of Thiaw.
Liverpool have boasted the best defence in the Premier League for a second season running so far this term. However, a closer look suggests the Merseyside club could be in need bolstering defence heading into the summer transfer window.
Arsenal are among teams interested in signing highly rated 18 y/o Schalke center back Malick Thiaw. The commanding center half has 9 goals in just 23 appearances for the Schalke U-19’s. Player has a release clause of £7m. [@MailSport] pic.twitter.com/faIICcyXeC
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) March 24, 2020
Dejan Lovren, who has fallen down the pecking order in this time, has been touted to be on his way out of Anfield, with Arsenal coincidentally being linked with the Croat. If Lovren needs, Liverpool will need to sign a centre-back, despite signing Sepp van den Berg last summer, especially with the young Dutchman still not appearing to be ready for first-team action.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have shown definitive improvements in defence since the appointment of Mikel Arteta as the new head coach. However, the likes of David Luiz and Sokratis continue to be inconsistent and are on the wrong side of 30.
With Konstantinos Mavropanos facing uncertainty over his future at Emirates, Arsenal will likely need to reinforce their defence by signing a centre-back, even though they are set to welcome William Saliba into the first-team setup next term. As a result, Thiaw could be a viable long-term solution at the heart of the Arsenal defence.
What will also keep Liverpool and Arsenal interested in the 18-year-old is £7 million release clause. A meagre amount, £7 million would hardly interfere with Arsenal’s modest budget. As for Liverpool, shelling out the aforementioned amount could help them focus more money on other acquisitions.
Apart from Liverpool and Arsenal, Manchester City are also interested in signing Thiaw, thereby setting up a transfer battle for the teenager. It now remains to be seen if the 18-year-old’s time at Schalke comes to an end in the summer, with interest in him ramping up.