Saturday, July 22, 2023

DEAL ON: Arsenal to sell six players to fund Mohammed Kudus deal?

The Ajax attacking midfielder was one of the few positives in an ultimately disappointing season for the club, who finished third in the Eredivisie.

The 22-year-old has proved his versatility at Ajax, being utilised as a central midfielder, out wide, or as a central striker.

Kudus netted 18 goals across all competitions for the Amsterdam club, after almost leaving the club to join Everton last summer.

The Daily Mail claims that he could be on his way out this summer though, with Arsenal preparing a bid for the Ghanaian, who Ajax value at £40m.

After already spending over £200m this summer, Mikel Arteta will need to make some sales before making any more big money moves.

Declan Rice arrived earlier this month, becoming the most expensive English footballer of all time, joining the Gunners alongside Kai Havertz and Kudus’s former teammate Jurrien Timber.

Cedric Soares, Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nicolas Pepe are among the six who are said to be free to move on, but Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding are also in that list.

Tierney and Holding featured sporadically as Arsenal came close to a Premier League title last season, while the other four all spent the campaign out on loan.

The integration of Oleksandr Zinchenko and William Saliba into the Arsenal side restricted the first-team opportunities for Tierney and Holding, and the recent additions of Timber and Jakub Kiwior may mean Arsenal will move them on.

Should Arsenal not raise the funds for Kudus though, Dinamo Zagreb’s Martin Baturina could be a cheaper and younger alternative.

The Express claims that sources close to the club believe that Arsenal are big admirers of Baturina as they have already scouted the 20-year-old.

With clubs in Italy and Germany also interested, it is thought Dinamo will listen to offers of around £10-15m for the midfielder.

Baturina enjoyed a breakout season last year, contributing to 19 goals as Dinamo cruised to another league title.

The youngster is yet to make his senior bow for the Croatian national team, but he is a regular for the Under-21s, and featured at the recent European Championships in Georgia and Romania.

His technical style of play has already drawn comparisons to the lengthy list of Croatian midfielders who have excelled across Europe, like Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic, all of whom have won numerous major honours.

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