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Arsenal 'initiate contact' with Mikel Arteta's top summer transfer target who has £68m release clause

Arsenal 'initiate contact' with Mikel Arteta's top summer transfer target who has £68m release clause

Arsenal could be a step ahead of rivals for top target's signature.

Arsenal have already started their hunt for summer signings, as the London club 'initiate contact' with one of Mikel Arteta's key targets for next season.

Arsenal currently sit top of the Premier League on goal difference, ahead of high-flying Liverpool and current holders Manchester City.

Arteta's side are looking to go one better than last season, as they failed to convert their points advantage over City into the title in the final stages of the campaign.

The Gunners could make a huge stride in doing so this weekend, as they face Pep Guardiola at the Etihad on Easter Sunday.

Despite being in the middle of one of the tightest title races in Premier League history Arsenal are still making waves in the transfer market, with Mikel Arteta desperate to add to his roster of centre backs.

According to O Jogo, Arsenal has been closely monitoring Sporting star Ousmane Diomande.

A Bola also reported that Arsenal are expected to currently hold an edge over their Premier League counterparts in the race to secure the transfer of Diomande.

The young defender has been a key figure for Sporting this season starting 19 times in the league scoring one goal, as well as being a consistent presence in the club's Europa League campaign.

Arsenal have reportedly communicated to both the agent of the Ivory Coast international and the directors of Sporting that they intend to initiate negotiations for his signature.

Ousmane Diomande- Getty
Ousmane Diomande- Getty

Diomande is subject to a £68m release clause, with his contract running until the summer of 2027.

Earlier this month, the Record reported that Chelsea had taken over Arsenal, with Todd Boehly offering €60m plus bonuses to edge in order to try and tempt the Portuguese side to sell below the release clause.

The Record also claims that Arsenal had been monitoring the 20-year-old even before his move to Sporting from FC Midtjylland last year.

Other clubs reportedly in the race to sign the defender include Bundesliga holders Bayern Munich and Newcastle United.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Premier League, Mikel Arteta, Sporting CP, Arsenal, Chelsea Transfer News & Rumours, Transfers