Arteta joins Barca in race for Gundogan as City plan longer deal for club captain
Arteta has preferred to sign younger players in recent seasons but he broke that trend when he brought in Jorginho, 31, and Leandro Trossard, 28
Arsenal have moved to try to sign Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer from Manchester City.
Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, wants to add goals from midfield and Gundogan has scored 35 times and contributed 18 assists in the past three seasons in all competitions.
The City captain, who lifted the Premier League trophy on Sunday, will be out of contract at the end of next month but City are expected to offer him a new deal. Barcelona are also interested in him.
Arteta has also earmarked Mason Mount as an option, with the midfielder likely to leave Chelsea this summer. Mount, 24, is best friends with the West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, Arsenal’s key target.
At 32, Gundogan would offer experience of playing in the Champions League, something lacking in the Arsenal squad, as well as the benefit of having won five Premier League titles at City since becoming Pep Guardiola’s first signing as the manager in 2016.Arteta could move for Mount as he looks to add goals to his midfield
Arteta has preferred to sign younger players in recent seasons but he broke that trend when he brought in Jorginho, 31, and Leandro Trossard, 28, in January. He admitted that the club had to “think short term as well as the medium and long term” when he signed Trossard.
Both players have been a success and may have helped to change Arteta’s thinking after previous experienced signings such as Willian and David Luiz — who was brought to the club by Unai Emery — did not work out.
Arteta signed Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from City last summer and worked with Gundogan when he was the assistant to Guardiola at the club. Gundogan has been more important to City than either Jesus or Zinchenko, however. He is likely to want at least a two-year deal, which could be a factor in his decision.
Arsenal are likely to revamp their midfield for next season. Granit Xhaka is close to joining Bayer Leverkusen and there are questions over Thomas Partey’s future after his form tailed off towards the end of this campaign. Arsenal face competition from Newcastle United for Rice and they also like Moisés Caicedo, of Brighton & Hove Albion, and Southampton’s Roméo Lavia.
Xhaka, 30, confirmed there will be an announcement on his future before the final game of the season at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
“I think they [the fans] deserve that [clarity on my future] as well and I do myself as well,” he said. “We have one more week of this Premier League season. The first thing is I want to enjoy [it] and for sure you guys will know next week what happens with my future.”