Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly interested in making a swoop for Atalanta’s Colombian striker Duvan Zapata in the summer transfer window.
According to a report from Transfer Market Web, Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are both interested in signing Duvan Zapata from Serie A high-fliers Atalanta in the upcoming transfer window.
Zapata moved to Europe in 2013, signing for Napoli after stints with America de Cali in his homeland Colombia and Uruguayan giants Estudiantes. After a couple of loan spells away at Udinese and Sampdoria, he joined the latter on a permanent transfer in 2018 only to be immediately loaned out to Atalanta, where he shone brightly.
Zapata’s transfer to Atalanta was made permanent in January 2020, with the Colombian firmly establishing himself as a key member of the side under Gian Piero Gasperini. Till date, the 30-year-old has managed an impressive tally of 65 goals and 29 assists from 125 games for La Dea and has been one of the primary driving forces behind their recent upsurge in Italy.
Indeed, Zapata has plundered 18 goals and set up 12 more in 44 games across all competitions in 2020/21, helping the club to the second place in Serie A as well as the finals of Coppa Italia. And, his goalscoring prowess seems to have gathered him a large set of admirers, with Liverpool having been linked with him previously and now Arsenal and Chelsea have also joined the hunt.
Arsenal, heading into the new season, could be in for a major overhaul after what has been a disastrous campaign so far. The centre-forward department is likely set for a major rejig as Alexandre Lacazette is entering the final year of his contract and could be sold in the summer along with Eddie Nketiah.
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could also be facing the axe after a disappointing season, despite having penned a new deal only recently. So, it must not come as a surprise that the Gunners are looking for reinforcements in attack with the likes of Paul Onuachu and now Zapata being linked among various other names.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are also in the market for a new striker as Tammy Abraham is set to be on his way out, with Aston Villa emerging as the favourites for his signing. In addition to that, Olivier Giroud sees his contract run out at the end of the season and there have been no talks of a renewal as of yet, meaning he could depart from Stamford Bridge as well.
With Timo Werner enduring a difficult debut campaign in England, it makes sense for Chelsea to bolster their attack with another quality option, which has seen them get linked with Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku. Zapata, however, could be a cheaper alternative for the Blues’ primary centre-forward targets given that Haaland and Lukaku are likely to command a transfer fee in excess of £100 million.
It now remains to be seen if either of Arsenal or Chelsea do decide to act on their interest in Zapata, whose contract with Atalanta runs till 2023, or decide to pursue alternate targets in the summer.