According to rumours, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants to raid old club Manchester City twice this summer, with Oleksandr Zinchenko the newest player on his wish list.
The Spanish manager has made a top-class striker his top priority and is looking to bring Gabriel Jesus to north London, with the champions willing to cash in on a player with only one year left on his contract, especially with Erling Haaland on the way.
However, there are other needs in Arsenal’s team that Arteta is hoping to fill, including a new central midfielder and a backup left-back.
According to the Daily Mail, by signing Zinchenko, who can play in both midfield and defence, he may be able to kill two birds with one stone.
Oleksandr Zinchenko has had a rough season at Manchester City, but his perseverance and strength of character have paid dividends.
The Ukraine international’s world was flipped upside down when Russia invaded his homeland after he had just played a few minutes in the first few months of the campaign.
He found the strength to play on and ended up playing a key role in City’s thrilling final-day triumph over Aston Villa, which secured the Premier League title!
It all began when the Ukrainian was signed as a central midfielder – where he still plays for Ukraine – but was switched to left-back by Pep Guardiola.
Arteta, on the other hand, believes Zinchenko’s best position is still in midfield and hopes that the prospect of playing in his preferred position will be enough to persuade him to forego Champions League football and move to the Emirates.
Zinchenko, like Jesus, had a solid relationship with Arteta when working as Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.
The vast majority of the 25-year-28 old’s appearances in all competitions this season have come at left-back, which would provide the cover Arteta is looking for, with the Gunners unwilling to spend much of their budget on someone who would only be backup to Kieran Tierney – especially given that they already have Nuno Tavares in that role.
Guardiola, like Jesus, will not stand in Zinchenko’s way if he requests a transfer – as long as the terms of the agreement are agreeable.
However, Arsenal are not the only team interested in the versatile defender-midfielder, and they face stiff competition for Jesus, not least from Tottenham Hotspur.
Meanwhile, City are interested in signing Marc Cucurella from Brighton, and Zinchenko’s exit would not only free up a spot in the team for the Spaniard, but would also contribute funds towards his transfer cost.