Arsenal could be involved in a transfer duel with Tottenham Hotspur for the pursuit of Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu this summer.
Speaking on a live report, Sky Sports journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has offered an update on the future of Takehiro Tomiyasu. The Bologna defender is widely expected to leave the club in the summer, following two successful seasons in the Italian top flight.
Tottenham Hotspur were mainly interested in the services of Tomiyasu, but it appears they are set to face fresh competition from arch-rivals Arsenal in the pursuit of the Japanese international. The two clubs are said to be in talks with Bologna over a potential agreement, as they look to prise the talented youngster away from Italy.
A product of the Avispa youth academy in his native Japan, Tomiyasu arrived in Serie A in 2019 for just €7 million after a stint with Belgian club Sint Truden. He has since turned out to be a massive bargain for Bologna, having established himself as one of the finest young defenders in the Italian league.
In just two years at the club, the 22-year-old has notched up 63 competitive appearances for the Rossoblu. 31 of those appearances have come in the recently concluded 2020/21 campaign, with the versatile defender, who can play at right-back as well as centre-back, impressing the onlookers with his imposing presence at the back.
In addition to his towering 1.88m figure, Tomiyasu has showcased brilliant defensive position and passing awareness. It seems to have attracted the attention of Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta, whose positional play method requires centre-backs to play with a high level of technical skill.
The Gunners have been linked with a swoop for the highly-talented Ben White. However, the Brighton & Hove Albion starlet is expected to cost a fortune, thus making Tomiyasu an interesting, cost-effective alternative, while he could also be a replacement for Hector Bellerin who has been linked with an exit.
On the other hand, Tottenham are also on the hunt for new defenders as they look to move on from Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld. Tomiyasu’s versatility, physical prowess and technical ability should appeal to new coach Nuno Espirito Santo, who favours defence-oriented tactics. The Japanese could also be seen as a replacement for Serge Aurier, who is headed for the exit doors this summer.
The Lilywhites were reportedly weighing up an €18 million bid for the Japanese international earlier this month. However, Arsenal joining the chase could complicate things, possibly giving Bologna ideal leverage to drive up the defender’s price tag.
Tomiyasu is not the only option being by Tottenham, though, with the north London giants also monitoring the situation of Nikola Milenkovic. Arsenal, too, are keeping an eye on Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba as a potential alternative for top-target White.