Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has prioritised a move for Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus if the Gunners are to strengthen their midfield options further this summer, according to the Independent.
The English website claims that the Gunners boss” favours” a bid to sign the Ghanaian international, even though the club have also been considering Southampton’s Romeo Lavia as an option.
Liverpool have been made firm favourites for the Belgian’s signature, with Manchester United and Chelsea also in the mix, but the player’s £50m asking price is proving problematic.
Arsenal could have the funds if they sell Folarin Balogun before the transfer window shuts but the Independent believes Kudus is the number one target currently.
Why are the Gunners pursuing Kudus?
It is suggested by the Independent that Arteta has a “particular idea” for deploying Kudus in midfield, but it is hard to guess what that might be.
The main upside to the 22-year-old is his positional versatility. While he is most comfortable as an attacking midfielder, he can also be deployed on the wing or upfront.
Considering Arteta prides himself on his tactical flexibility, having someone like Kudus available would give him plenty of options.
Have Arsenal advanced far in negotiations for Kudus?
Former Arsenal transfer chief Sven Mislintat is now sporting director at Ajax, and he confirmed last week that, while teams have made enquiries about the Ghanaian, no formal offers have been made.
It is believed that the Eredivisie side would sell Kudus for around £4om but, even if the Gunners do have the budget to sign him, there will be rivals for his signature.
Chelsea have reportedly held discussions with Kudus’ representatives already, with an agreement on personal terms said to be close.
Manchester United have also been credited with an interest but manager Erik ten Hag is thought to have identified him as a potential alternative to Rasmus Hojlund. With the Dane set to make a move to Old Trafford, their interest in Kudus is expected to die down.