Arsenal have been credited with an interest in AZ Alkmaar captain Teun Koopmeiners, who is wanted by a number of top European clubs.
The Gunners are keen to strengthen their squad this summer, and are prepared to back Mikel Arteta with a significant amount of money – in the region of £250m – in order to begin a complete overhaul of the playing squad.
Albert Sambi Lokonga is expected to put pen-to-paper on a £17m move from Anderlecht in the coming days, but he’s not the only central midfielder target in Arsenal’s crosshairs.
90min understands that Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and Lille’s Renato Sanches are among the players Arsenal are looking at, but there could also be interested in highly-rated Koopmeiners. Leading Dutch publication De Telegraaf claim that the Gunners are ‘preying’ on the 23-year-old, although they face significant competition for his signature.
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Emerging Serie A force Atalanta are among the favourites to land Koopmeiners, who netted 15 goals and contributed five assists in last season’s Eredivisie, while there’s also significant interest from Rennes – who may be looking at long-term replacements for teenage prodigy Eduardo Camavinga.
One thing that could go in Arsenal’s favour, were they to make a move, is that Koopmeiners is reported to have been ‘a big fan of the Gunners as a child’, perhaps owing to the Dutch contingent that have previously played at the Emirates Stadium.
Netherlands legend Dennis Bergkamp spent a decade at the club, winning three Premier League titles, while Robin van Persie also enjoyed great goalscoring success during his time in north London. Arsenal also possessed one of the best wingers in the world at the time in Marc Overmars, who illuminated Highbury during the late 90s with his blistering pace and attacking flair.
Arsenal are relatively well stocked in central midfield but are expected to lose Granit Xhaka in the coming days to Roma. The Swiss international’s departure would leave Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Lucas Torreira as the other defensive midfielders in Arteta’s squad, although the latter is also expected to depart at some stage.
Koopmeiners’ arrival would boost squad depth and quality, though there is also rival Premier League interest from Brighton. Arsenal, however, may feel their pulling power is far greater if they decide to test the water and make AZ an offer.