Arsenal has increased its long-term interest in Oleksandr Zinchenko. Arsenal are negotiating with Manchester City about signing the Ukraine international, who has two years remaining on his contract at the Etihad Stadium.
Discussions over the 25-year-old midfielder/left-back are underway, and the Premier League champions are now expecting him to depart, albeit no amount has been agreed upon.
City is said to demand roughly £35 million (€41 million), but Arsenal is trying to negotiate a lower price as negotiations continue.
This summer, Arsenal has been trying to enhance its midfield options, with the club hoping to bring in someone who can play on the left side of a central three.
Granit Xhaka filled this position in the second part of last season when Arteta shifted to a 4-3-3 formation with Thomas Partey as the lone holding midfielder.
Xhaka did wonderfully, but playing as a No.8 is not his preferred position, thus Arsenal has been trying to bolster in that area.
They’ve had a long-standing interest in Youri Tielemans, and Lyon’s Lucas Paqueta is another player they’ve been watching – although neither has been signed yet.
And Zinchenko’s probable arrival might explain why, with the Ukraine star demonstrating his ease in the position of advanced midfielder on several occasions, particularly while playing for the national team.
This is supported by statements made by Pep Guardiola in April when questioned about Zinchenko’s optimum position.
“As an attacking midfielder in the pockets,” he said. “That is unquestionably his viewpoint. Oleks was a No.10 – a Phil Foden position – and a creative player when we got him from Ukraine.
“But the requirements we had… For long years, we lacked a left-back. Fabian Delph and Oleks both performed well in that role. That is because he is well-educated and understands precisely what it implies.”
Zinchenko, like Jesus, would not require much time to get to know his new management if he moved to Arsenal.
He collaborated extensively with Arteta when the Spaniard was Guardiola’s assistant at City, and the duo are said to have had an excellent working relationship.
As a result, he’ll fit right in, and Arteta will know precisely what to anticipate from his new addition.
There will be no surprises, allowing the 25-year-old to settle in and make an impression in north London rapidly.