Arsenal are leapfrogging north London rivals Tottenham in the race to sign Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski, according to reports in Italy.
The Sweden international looks set to leave Juve with his game-time significantly reduced under Max Allegri – he’s started just four of 19 league games this season.
Juventus are open to his sale and reportedly floated the idea of using him as part of a deal for Dusan Vlahovic, but Fiorentina aren’t interested.
Arsenal spent in excess of £150m in the summer transfer window on Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
But Corriere Torino (via Sport Witness) reckons Arsenal are not done there this season as they look to bring Kulusevski to the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal are ‘in pole’ position for Kulusevski, who has played 68 games for the Serie A side since his debut in 2020, notching eight goals and nine assists.
Another Italian publication Calciomercato back those claims up by insisting that the Gunners are ‘overtaking’ arch-rivals Tottenham in the race for the Sweden international.
He’s expected to leave in the January transfer window but Juventus are still ‘waiting’ for an offer for the €35m-rated winger despite it now being ‘more Arsenal than Tottenham’ for the 21-year-old.
Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be absent for his side’s New Year’s Day clash with Manchester City after testing positive for coronavirus.
The Spaniard is now isolating and will be unable to attend the tea-time kick-off at the Emirates Stadium.
A club statement read: “Mikel Arteta will miss our match against Manchester City on New Year’s Day after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Mikel is isolating in line with Government guidelines and we wish him well.”
Arteta is still expected to do press duties ahead of the game on Thursday.
Arteta previously contracted the virus in March 2020, which prompted the shutdown of English football at the start of the pandemic.
Assistants Albert Stuivenberg and Steve Round will be in charge on match day.
The Gunners were without a number of players during their 5-0 win at Norwich on Boxing Day due to coronavirus, with Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ainsley Maitland-Niles among those infected.
Their game with Wolves on Tuesday was postponed due to an outbreak in Bruno Lage’s squad.