Arsenal in three-way battle for Madrid star as €20m Newcastle target ‘monitored in Brazil’

Will Ford
Marco Asensio, Real Madrid, February 2023

Arsenal are reportedly set to battle AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain for Marco Asensio this summer, while a €20m Flamengo star is also being ‘monitored’.

Asensio – who has spent the last eight seasons with Madrid, contributing 61 goals and 32 assists in 285 appearances – is set to leave the Bernabeu at the end of his contract this summer having rejected an offer to extend his stay.

Mikel Arteta is looking to bolster his attacking options in the transfer window, with the Spanish boss particularly keen to lighten the load on the young shoulders of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

And Onda Cero (via Daily Mail) claim the Gunners have ‘turned their attention to Asensio’, with their interest in the 27-year-old dating back to last summer.

They will though face competition from AC Milan and PSG for the forward’s free transfer.

It’s thought Arteta is attracted by Asensio’s versatility, with the Spain international comfortable in a number of forward positions, and his Champions League experience is also thought to be a factor, as Arsenal prepare to return to Europe’s showcase competition having finished second in the Premier League this term.

The Gunners also continue to be linked with with Crystal Palace star Michael Olise, who registered eleven assists and two goals in another impressive season at Selhurst Park.

A report last month claimed Arsenal director Edu has been keeping an eye on Olise with Mikel Arteta is also a big fan of the 21-year-old.

That provoked Palace manager Roy Hodgson to admit chairman and co-owner Steve Parish should be worried about Olise’s future at the club.

It was at that point claimed the Gunners would be willing to stump up £40m for the 21-year-old, who moved to Palace from Reading for £9m in the summer of 2021.

And Flamengo’s Matheus Franca, who was the subject of Newcastle interest in January, is another player who’s been tipped to move to the Emirates, although as Fabrizio Romano reports, there have been ‘no formal talks’ as yet.

Romano tweeted: ‘More on Arsenal and Matheus França links. No proposal, bid or formal talks at this stage — he’s one of the talents now monitored by the club in Brazil, no negotiations.

‘Newcastle had €20m bid turned down by Flamengo in January; there are 3 more clubs now in the race.’

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