Arsenal director Edu could be inclined to pursue a player-plus-cash deal for Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma ahead of next season, with the Seagulls keen admirers of Gunners outcast Eddie Nketiah, according to reports. The north London club have been heavily linked with a move for Bissouma in recent months, with Mikel Arteta eager to lead a summer of change at the Emirates Stadium.
The Spaniard has endured a torrid campaign in charge, with Arsenal limping to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League and missing out on European qualification for the first time in over 25 years.
The addition of a new central midfielder is said to be high on Arteta’s agenda after the departures of Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard at the end of their respective loan spells in the capital.
Bissouma, who has established himself as a vital cog in the machine for Brighton under Graham Potter, is believed to be on Arsenal’s radar ahead of a possible approach for his services.
It seems likely that a number of players will be sold in order to fund the club’s summer business, with the likes of Sead Kolasinac, Lucas Torreira and Willian facing uncertain futures.
Nketiah is another Gunners star that could be on the move after managing just 413 minutes of Premier League football all season.
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The 21-year-old has been linked with West Ham United as of late, but the Hammers appear to have been joined by Brighton in the race for his signature.
The East Sussex club are keeping tabs on Nketiah ahead of the summer transfer window, and could look to include him in any deal for Bissouma if Arsenal decide to act on their reported interest, according to Latest Brighton.
Albion have struggled to test opposing goalkeepers at times this season, with Neal Maupay the club’s top scorer with just eight goals in all competitions.
If they manage to gain Nketiah through losing Bissouma to Arsenal, it could be a move to suit all parties, with the Gunners forward in desperate need of regular game time in order to develop his prolific capabilities.
He remains the all-time record scorer for England’s under-21 side with 16 goals in just 17 appearances for the Young Lions.
Meanwhile, Bissouma’s arrival in north London would provide Arsenal with a top-quality answer to their midfield problem.
He seems to be more than capable of thriving at a top club, with the Mali international turning plenty of heads at Brighton thanks to his ability to beat a high press and impressive range of passing.
Potter suggested last month that Bissouma may well be good enough to grace any dressing room in world football, claiming that he is taking pride in the whirlwind of transfer speculation surrounding his star man.
“The exciting thing for Yves is he can still improve some more, he’s not at the top,” the Brighton boss told a press conference.
“But he’s got incredible potential, he’s got incredible talent, he’s got the attributes to play midfield in any game in the world.
“Like any player, we have to be honest and also sensible enough to know that if a player is good enough to play at that level and has that opportunity, then we shouldn’t be afraid of that, we shouldn’t be scared of that.
“Clearly there is a consequence for that in terms of transfer fees, but that’s something out of our control and my control. But it’s nothing for us to feel negative of. It should be a feeling of pride.”