Arsenal are looking to sort out a deal for Real Vallodolid right-back Ivan Fresneda with the Gunners looking to ‘pivot’ for a new forward too, according to reports.
Mykhaylo Mudryk has decided to join Chelsea after the Blues agreed a €100m deal with Shakhtar Donetsk despite previous claims that Arsenal were leading the race for the winger.
It is understood that Arsenal had no intention of paying the asking price for Mudryk after making three lower bids and the Blues also offered double what the Gunners were prepared to pay in wages.
And now the Daily Telegraph claim that Arsenal now ‘turn attention’ to Fresneda with the Gunners expressing ‘serious interest in the teenager’.
The reoport insists that ‘in recent days they have made clear their admiration for the 18-year-old’ with interest also coming from fellow Premier League side Newcastle United.
Fresneda, who plays at right-back for Vallodolid, is currently enjoying a breakthrough season at the La Liga outfit with the youngster making nine league appearances, seven of which came in the starting XI.
The Telegraph add that Fresneda ‘could be available for around £10m to £15m, although any final fee will depend on the number of teams who commit to making formal offers.’
Despite an admission from Vallodolid that Fresneda could leave the Spanish club in January, Arsenal ‘may prefer to wait until the summer to make their move’.
Fulham target Cedric Soares could leave the Emirates this month and that would make a deal for Fresneda more likely with Arsenal ‘considering their options at full-back’.
The report adds that Arsenal ‘will now look to pivot to alternative forward targets’ after missing out on Joao Felix and Mudryk.
Despite Arsenal being five points clear of second-placed Manchester City in the Premier League, with a game in hand, former Gunners midfielder Paul Merson still doesn’t think Mikel Arteta’s side are “title contenders”.
“Arsenal have done amazingly but they are a long way off being title contenders, in my opinion,” Merson told Sky Sports. “Just look at that Newcastle game. They couldn’t bring anybody on when they needed to change it.
“There’s nobody on the bench bar Fabio Vieira, who Mikel Arteta paid £34m for and doesn’t seem to trust. Then, two days after that game, Man City are looking like they might draw against Chelsea, but they just bring on Grealish and Mahrez and one crosses it, one scores.
“That showed the quality Pep Guardiola has to work with and I just don’t see how Arsenal are going to be able to live with Man City over a period where there are 60-odd points up for grabs. Arsenal would have to take four points off Man City in those two games to have absolutely any chance of winning it. Otherwise, I just don’t see how Arsenal are going to do it.”
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