Arsenal step up interest in Liverpool target with £105m release clause as Arteta ponders Xhaka alternatives

·3-min read
Lautaro Martinez (Inter)Florentino Luis (Benfica) during the UEFA
Lautaro Martinez (Inter)Florentino Luis (Benfica) during the UEFA

Mikel Arteta is determined to strengthen his squad in the summer and Arsenal have been linked with an exciting talent from Europe.

While Arsenal look likely to miss out on the Premier League title, they have made great strides forward this season.

The Gunners are especially keen to add to their midfield options in the summer. With fresh reports claiming that Granit Xhaka could leave, this is now a priority position to strengthen.

The Swiss midfielder has racked up over 2,800 minutes of Premier League football this year and would leave a large void to be filled.

Bayern Leverkusen seem confident of striking a deal for the 30-year-old which could spark Arsenal into life in the transfer market.

As reported by The Boot Room, the Gunners are now interested in Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis.

The 23-year-old has had a series of impressive performances and has caught the eye of several sides from around Europe.

Luis has featured in 43 matches across all competitions this season and it’s easy to see why a side like Arsenal would be interested.

Arteta has built the core of his side around youngsters and at 23, Luis also fits into this mould. The Portuguese midfielder has especially stood out during Benfica’s Champions League campaign.

Averaging 2.6 tackles and 2.7 interceptions per game, he is one of the most tenacious off-the-ball midfielders in Europe.

He won’t come cheap

Benfica have already proven themselves to be strong negotiators in the transfer market. Indeed, they recently received huge sums for the likes of Enzo Fernandez and Darwin Nunez.

The Portuguese club also hold all the cards when it comes to Luis. He is contracted with the club until 2027 and his release clause is set at £105million.

Along with Arsenal, plenty of other clubs are also interested. The likes of Napoli, AC Milan and Liverpool have been monitoring him.

Back in March, it was reported that Liverpool had sent scouts to watch Luis along with centre-back Antonio Silva.

Liverpool are also in the market for a midfielder this summer, but they are unlikely to trigger the £105million release clause of Luis.

Alexis Mac Allister remains the primary target for Liverpool, but Klopp would also like to add a more defensive-minded player.

Luis ticks a lot of boxes for both Arsenal and Liverpool so it’s easy to see why both clubs are interested.

As well as impressing in Portugal, the midfielder has also had loan spells in Ligue 1 and La Liga with Monaco and Getafe respectively.

His work rate off the ball is excellent, but his ability with the ball at his feet also makes him a useful player in a possession-based system.

For Benfica he completes an average of 57 passes per game and boasts a pass accuracy of 89.9%.

Both Arsenal and Liverpool would need to talk Benfica down from their lofty asking price right now, but a move could be on the cards this summer.

READ MORE: Arsenal fear Arteta is making transfer blunder, with new plan to rescue calamitous exit revealed

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