Arsenal are hoping to beat Juventus to the signing of a top quality left back, according to reports in Italy.
Arsenal are in talks to sign Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac, in what could be a free transfer with the player refusing to sign a contract extension with the German club. The news is relayed by Football Italia who cite TuttoMercatoWeb as their original source.
Kolasinac is a 23-year-old full back that is held in high regard in Germany, and Juventus are also keen on his signature. Kolasinac has played much of this season as a left midfielder, showing his versatility to play anywhere on the left. When playing further forward, he is often praised for his defensive contribution, so he sounds like a decent addition to the squad, considering Arsenal like to have a wide midfielder capable of defending when required, and attacking full backs.
As his contract is due to expire at the end of the season, foreign clubs are allowed to talk to the player directly, and they can sign a pre-contract agreement. According to reports in Italy Juventus have been in talks with the player for some time, but with the young Alex Sandro likely to be ahead of him in the pecking order, the Gunners may be able to offer more first team assurances.
Nacho Monreal’s form has faded over the last 12 months whilst Kieran Gibbs continues to be on the fringe of first team football and his future at the club looks far from secure.
The fact that Kolasinac can play as a defensive winger really makes him seem like a suitable replacement for Gibbs, who has had to play that role many times in the past. Aged 23, he has his best years ahead of him and with first choice left-back Monreal now 30, it makes sense to bring in some young blood.
The reports from Italy claim that Arsenal could be favourites for his signature due to their ability to pay more financially than Juventus can.
Arsenal could offer Schalke some money and get the deal done in January, but that appears unlikely at this stage, with the German side reluctant to let him go.
This is certainly one worth keeping an eye on.