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Arsenal hold talks with €20m 25yo midfielder’s camp

Arsenal hold talks with €20m 25yo midfielder’s camp
Arsenal hold talks with €20m 25yo midfielder’s camp

Arsenal have reportedly held discussions with representatives of AS Monaco midfielder Youssouf Fofana, as they seek to strengthen their midfield options ahead of the upcoming season.

The 25-year-old French international has apparently become a key target for the Gunners, who face stiff competition from several top European clubs.

Monaco's Youssouf Fofana (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the French L1 football match between AS Monaco and Lille (LOSC) at the Louis II Stadium (Stade Louis II) in the Principality of Monaco on April 24, 2024. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal have reportedly engaged in preliminary discussions with representatives of AS Monaco‘s midfielder, Youssouf Fofana, as they explore the possibility of a summer transfer.

Sources indicate that, while initial talks have taken place between Arsenal and Fofana‘s camp, negotiations are yet to commence, perhaps pointing to Arsenal merely testing the waters. The player’s involvement in the upcoming Euros is expected to delay any potential deal, with a decision to be made upon his return.

Arsenal‘s interest in Fofana is not new. The Gunners were reportedly considering him as an alternative to Declan Rice last summer, before ultimately opting for the latter. With questions surrounding the futures of several midfielders in Mikel Arteta‘s squad, including Thomas Partey, and Emile Smith Rowe, a move for Fofana could be on the cards this summer.

Fofana, a 25-year-old French international, was a key figure for Monaco last season, featuring in 35 matches, scoring four and assisting another four. His contract with the Ligue 1 side runs until 2025, making him an attractive prospect for several top European clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético Madrid, and AC Milan, all of whom have reportedly expressed interest.

While L’Equipe doesn’t mention Fofana‘s price, reports from Tutto Juve, via Sport Witness, suggests a figure of around €20 million. Arsenal also faces competition from other Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and West Ham United.

Monaco's Youssouf Fofana (L) fights for the ball with Metz's Danley Jean Jacques (R) during the French L1 football match between AS Monaco and FC Metz at the Louis II Stadium (Stade Louis II) in the Principality of Monaco on October 22, 2023. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Fofana himself recently addressed the speculation surrounding his future, stating that discussions regarding a contract extension with Monaco will take place after the Euros. This leaves the door open for a potential summer move, with Arsenal seemingly well-positioned to secure his signature.

Monaco will also ‘work with him’ to find the best solution for everyone involved, be that a move with a substantial transfer fee or a new deal with them.

“My future? I have spoken about it with the hierarchy, it isn’t a secret,” Fofana said in a press conference, ahead of Euro 2024.

“We had exchanges and they agreed to accompany me in this new stage. If it (a move) doesn’t happen, I still have a year left and I will be happy to stay. We were in agreement that we would accompany each other in this process in which everyone should be a winner, be it me or the club.”

The midfielder’s versatility, technical ability, and experience at both club and international level make him an ideal fit for Arsenal‘s style of play. His potential arrival would certainly strengthen the Gunners’ midfield options and their bid for domestic and European success.