Arsenal line up summer transfer ‘bomb’ as Arteta wants La Liga star who will ‘bring an extra dimension’

Joe Williams
Arsenal transfer target Jules Kounde
Jules Kounde has been linked with a move to Arsenal.

Arsenal are interested in signing Barcelona defender Jules Kounde in one of the most high-profile deals of the summer, according to reports.

The Gunners have been transformed by Mikel Arteta over the last couple of seasons with Arsenal only beaten to the Premier League title on the last day of last term by Manchester City.

Arteta’s side keep getting closer to Man City each campaign and they will be hoping that a few more quality additions can finally see them win the Premier League title.

Arsenal are once again one of the most attractive clubs to join in Europe with the Premier League side recently demonstrating their exciting play and stability under Arteta.

Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and David Raya arrived at the Emirates Stadium 12 months ago and the Gunners will be looking to bring in similar quality again this summer.

And reports in Spain are claiming that Arsenal are planning one of the transfer ‘bombs’ of the summer as they ‘are seriously interested in signing’ Barcelona centre-back Kounde, who is regularly linked to the Premier League.

The Gunners’ cause is helped by the fact that ‘virtually all of their players are available for the right price’ as Barcelona look to raise funds for transfers of their own.

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It is understood a deal ‘won’t be cheap’ for Arsenal ‘but his versatility and quality make him a tempting option’ with Arteta excited that the France international could ‘bring an extra dimension’ to his side.

The report adds:

‘Despite Ben White’s good performance, the addition of Koundé could raise the team’s level even further, especially on the right side of the back four. His agility and athletic ability could complement and enhance Arteta’s playing system, offering a reliable and dynamic solution in all competitions.’

Nico Williams is another La Liga star who Arsenal are reportedly interested in this summer but Charles Watts – who has been covering the Gunners for years as a journalist – insists the north Londoners “won’t do anything stupid” to land the Athletic Bilbao forward.

Watts wrote in his Caught Offside column: “If Nico Williams wasn’t already in the shop window ahead of Euro 2024, then he certainly is now.

“The Athletic Club winger has been electric for Spain and understandably he now has a lot of people talking about him as a potential transfer target this summer.

“Arsenal are admirers of the 21-year-old, but so are plenty of other of the top clubs across Europe and that interest is only going to increase as the tournament goes on.

“On paper, the release clause of around £50million for Williams looks a very appealing one, but as far as I’m aware it’s not as simple as that.

“You have to remember that release clauses in Spain have to be paid in full and that makes deals very expensive as clubs can’t spread the transfer fee out over the length of the contract like they usually do.

“But in Williams’ case, the wages are also understood to be a pretty significant issue. Athletic Club are big payers. They have to be to ensure they keep their team together given the unique way the club operates.

“So Williams is on good money and the word is that interested clubs have been surprised by the wages he would want to move this summer.

“Arsenal are good payers, but they have a wage bill that they have worked hard to get in check in recent years. So they won’t do anything stupid and undo that hard work.

“Williams is a talent, but he is still young and relatively inexperienced. For Arsenal to immediately make him one of the highest earners would be a risk, because it could unsettle the squad a bit, especially if he were to come in and suddenly be earning more than some of the experienced players who have been at the club for a while. So all that sort of thing has to be taken into account when it comes to potential deals.

“Williams is a huge talent and is a player I would love to see at Arsenal. He ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to what the club needs right now. But it has to be a deal that works financially. If it’s not, then there are plenty of other players out there.”