Arsenal are emerging as a genuine contender to hijack a long-awaited Man Utd move that’ll complete the final piece of the puzzle for Mikel Arteta, per a report.
The idea of signing an upgrade at right-back has continually been touted since Erik ten Hag took charge at Old Trafford. The Dutchman favours a more attack-minded option than the pair he already has at his disposal – Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
In fact, Wan-Bissaka was on the cusp of being axed in January and only earned a stay of exectuion thanks to his solid displays at the turn of the year. Dalot’s injury issues offered Wan-Bissaka a timely opportunity to prove his worth and he duly took it.
Dalot was among a number of United players who had the one-year options in their contracts activated in late-2022. However, per the Sun, talks over a new and improved deal that’ll commit his long-term future to the club are ‘advanced’.
The fall guy if a new right-back were to be signed, therefore, will be Wan-Bissaka. Two forward-thinking right-sided defenders have persistently been linked with United of late – Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong and Denzel Dumfries of Inter Milan.
The latter would constitute the highest profile addition of the pair and has been a revelation for club and country in recent times.
Operating primarily as a right wing-back, Dumfries excelled for the Netherlands in Qatar and continues to be among Inter’s top performers at club level.
Indeed, he produced a decisive goal-line clearance against FC Porto in injury time on Tuesday night that helped book Inter’s place in the quarter finals of the Champions League.
At the other end of the pitch, Dumfries has notched 20 goal contributions in 77 games since moving to the San Siro – a ratio of better than one in four.
Inter are known to be in need of raising around €60m in the first month of the summer window in order to balance their books. Dumfries is among their most prized assets who’d allow the club to recoup much – if not all – of that amount in one go.
Now, a fresh report from Football Insider has reaffirmed Man Utd’s interest in Dumfries. Indeed, it’s confirmed Ten Hag is a ‘huge fan’ of his fellow countryman.
However, per the report, Arsenal are emerging as a serious contender to pluck Dumfries from Ten Hag’s grasp.
In the article’s words, Arsenal have ‘set their sights on signing’ Dumfries and are ‘considering a summer move’ for the Dutchman.
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It’s claimed Arteta is eyeing an ‘out-and-out right-back’ with a view to, presumably, adding a greater threat going forwards.
The Spaniard’s current options in the position are Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
White is a centre-half by trade and was pushed over to right-back this season to allow William Saliba to partner Gabriel Magalhaes.
Tomiyasu, meanwhile, offers little to nothing in the final third. Between the pair, they’ve racked up just one goal and five assists in 123 combined matches for the club.
FI add a bid of between £40m-£50m will reportedly be enough to bring Inter to the table for Dumfries.
Chelsea are another who like what they’ve seen from Dumfries. However, the Blues shored up their right-back position upon signing Lyon’s Malo Gusto in January and that move is expected to see their interest in Dumfries cool.
As such, any transfer race is likely to come down to Arsenal and Man Utd from a Premier League perspective.
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