Mikel Arteta U-turn confirmed after Arsenal’s £46m transfer decision

Arsenal Football Club have returned to main target Mikel Arteta after pulling out of the race to sign Lisandro Martinez. The Gunners have refused to engage in a bidding war for the Argentina international after Manchester United became candidates for his signature.

Arteta is in the market to sign a versatile defender who can provide cover at left-back while also being able to play in midfield. Martinez proved his ability to cover several positions with Ajax last season, but the Eredivisie club’s heavy demands saw the north Londoners end their interest.

Prior to Martinez’s arrival on Arsenal’s radar, Manchester City full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko was Arteta’s number one target. The Ukraine international is primarily a midfielder but was deployed at left-back by Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.

Lisandro Martinez is set to join Manchester United after agreeing the terms. ANP SPORT / Maurice van STEEN

The 25-year-old has proven himself in the Premier League, winning four times with City, and can meet the requirements set out by the Gunners boss. Zinchenko can provide cover for Kieran Tierney at left-back while supporting Granit Xhaka’s position in midfield if needed.

According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Arsenal have returned to City to sign Zinchenko after taking Gabriel Jesus to the Emirates Stadium in a £45million deal. The Premier League champions are ready to sanction the transfer, but demand that the north London club respect their assessment.

Arteta and Zinchenko have maintained a strong relationship after working together during the former’s time as Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad Stadium. Arsenal have not yet reached the rating of the Manchester club, and only after that will they be allowed to discuss personal terms with the Ukrainian.

“The clubs are in contact over a potential transfer and it is believed City are ready to sanction the sale of the 25-year-old if their assessment is met,” Ornstein wrote. “That hasn’t happened so far, but talks are ongoing, Arsenal believe they will prioritize Zinchenko after missing out on Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez. »

Oleksandr Zinchenko from Ukraine
Oleksandr Zinchenko took Ukraine to the top against Sweden Photo: POOL / ANDY BUCHANAN

However, according to the Italian transfer expert fabrice romano, Arsenal are not putting all their eggs in one basket this time around. The Gunners are also watching Anderlecht left-back Sergio Gomez, who impressed in the Belgian league last season.

The Spain Under-21 international joined Anderlecht from Borussia Dortmund last summer and has played 49 games in all competitions. The 21-year-old contributed seven goals and 15 assists from left-back which caught the attention of the Premier League giants.

Arteta has prioritized strengthening the left side of his defense in recent days. Apart from signing a versatile defender, the Spanish manager is also keen on signing a new midfielder and a wide forward before the transfer window closes on August 31.

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta seeks answers at Arsenal
Jon Super/POOL

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