Arsenal make ‘new assault’ for €80m ex-Liverpool target as Arteta sanctions two exits in swap deal

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal target Barella
Inter Milan's Nicolo Barella and Arsenal's Folarin Balogun.

According to reports in Italy, Arsenal are interested in signing former Liverpool and Newcastle United target Nicolo Barella from Inter Milan.

The Gunners have not messed around this summer as around £200m has been spent to sign Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz.

They are now set to sign David Raya on an initial loan deal from Premier League rivals Brentford but they are not finished there.

Arsenal remain in the market for a midfielder, with The Independent reporting that they are ‘seeking to make at least one more significant sale in order to bring in a number six’.

The report added: ‘Mikel Arteta seeks to add more variety to his midfield.

‘The issue is that, just like with strikers, there aren’t many midfielders of that profile available for purchase at the moment.’

This is seemingly where Barella comes into the equation. The Inter Milan standout was heavily linked with Newcastle United and Liverpool earlier this summer and he is understood to be valued at £69m. 

The Italy international grabbed nine goals and ten assists across all competitions last season as Inter Milan reached the Champions League final.

Italian outlet Calciomercato are now reporting that Arsenal are making a ‘new assault on Barella’.

Their interest in the midfielder is said to be ‘concrete and serious’ and he is apparently the ‘main candidate’ to replace Thomas Partey, who is being pursued by Juventus.

READ MORE: Arsenal and Man Utd f*** it right up while a Palace sash delights in our 2023/24 away kit rankings

To get the deal done, Arteta is reportedly ‘willing to sell Folarin Balogun and Takehiro Tomiyasu to Inter’ as part of a swap deal for Barella that could tempt the Serie giants into a ‘sacrifice’.

As with most transfer stories via Italian outlets, this should be taken with a pinch of salt and it has likely been made up after Inter Milan’s interest in Balogun became apparent.

West Ham and AS Monaco are also in the running for Balogun, but Inter Milan are struggling to match Arsenal’s £40m+ asking price for the attacker.

Inter Milan are looking to sign an alternative to Romelu Lukaku as the Chelsea flop is being targeted by rivals Juventus.

Balogun scored 21 goals in Ligue Un last season while he was on loan at Reims and he is on Inter Milan’s radar along with ex-Chelsea man Alvaro Morata.

Ex-Premier League attacker Gabby Agbonlahor thinks Arsenal would be wise to sell Balogun this summer.

“He’s done well in France, but I don’t think he’s Arsenal standard. They’re going to be in the Champions League next season, they need another proven striker to compete with [Eddie] Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.

“I don’t think Arsenal would use him next season if he came back. Him scoring goals in France has helped the club.

“Now they can put him up for sale and name their price. It’s definitely a sale waiting for Arsenal to make.”

READ MORE: Football365’s season predictions for 2023/24… Arsenal champions, Everton down, Hojlund flops