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Arsenal send scouts to watch Granit Xhaka replacement with summer transfer 'practically inevitable'

Arsenal send scouts to watch Granit Xhaka replacement with summer transfer 'practically inevitable'

Xhaka's successor has been identified.

Arsenal have sent scouts to watch Granit Xhaka's potential replacement, according to reports.

The Gunners are currently five points clear at the summit of the Premier League table, leaving fans dreaming of their first domestic title in nearly 20 years.

Only Manchester City stand in their way, with Pep Guardiola's side breathing down their neck in second place.

All eyes will be on the Etihad when City host Arsenal in a title-defining contest.

But in the midst of the drama, Mikel Arteta has reportedly identified Xhaka's long-term replacement in the shape of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte.

Arteta is keen to strengthen his squad this summer, and wants to sign a 'complete midfielder', claim Portuguese news outlet O Jogo.

Ugarte to Arsenal?

Arteta reportedly 'liked' Ugarte when Arsenal played the Portuguese giants in the Europa League earlier in the season, according to O Jogo.

The 22-year-old was sent off late in the day at the Emirates, but the Gunners boss was left impressed by his performance.

While the club sent scouts to watch him play against Juventus in Sporting Lisbon's Europa League quarter-final which they lost 2-1 on aggregate.

Ugarte has made 43 appearances across all competitions for Sporting this term and is said to have 'captivated' the Gunners' recruitment team.

And that interest could materialise into a bid, with Ugarte's departure 'practically inevitable', with the midfielder showing no desire to renew his current deal.

Meanwhile, Sporting could look to cash in on him as they seek to raise funds for new players this summer.

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal are willing to meet the players's €60m (£53m) release clause.

But the Uruguay international is seen as an alternative to Declan Rice, who has emerged as Arenal's priority transfer target this summer.

The English midfielder has rejected multiple contract extensions at West Ham and is allegedly keen on a move to north London.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Arsenal, Granit Xhaka, Sporting Lisbon, Transfers, Football, Mikel Arteta