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Gunners reopen talks for Diawara deal, Mustafi offered exit route

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Diawara swap deal looks possible

It’s no secret Arsenal are seeking a new ball-winning midfielder for their squad, but talks about landing first-choice target Thomas Partey appear to have cooled.

There are alternatives though, and one looks a real possibility: Roma’s Amadou Diawara.

Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport says the Gunners have returned to discussions with the Serie A side recently and are willing to put up €30million (£27m) to get the deal done, but an exchange for Lucas Torreira is there as a possibility, too.

Roma and Fiorentina have been following the Uruguayan, but Roma are unsure about adding another midfielder as coach Paulo Fonseca intends to use Lorenzo Pellegrini in that role.

Napoli ‘keen’ on Arsenal duo

As much as getting players in is important, Arsenal also have to balance the books and realign a squad which is heavy in some areas and light in others.

Help in doing so might come from another Italian team, Napoli, as they are reported to want to sign a pair of defenders from the Gunners.

Gazzetta dello Sport say Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi are on the agenda, presumably for if Kalidou Koulibaly departs the club for Manchester City.

Arsenal have at least nine players who can play in a centre-back role in different systems, so offloading a few is imperative – and that’s before Gabriel Magalhaes officially signs.

Arteta issues challenge to Martinez

The Athletic are reporting that Emiliano Martinez will be made available for sale, after Mikel Arteta decided on keeping Bernd Leno as his first-choice goalkeeper.

But Arteta isn’t going to freeze out either one, he will instead ask them to push each other to improve and show who deserves to be in goal regularly.

“I’m delighted to have both of them,” the Gunners boss said. “But they both know that on the first day of pre-season, you start again and fight for your place and show us who is the one that deserves the chance to start.

“I don’t want to keep them both happy, I want the one that is not playing to be upset.

“But upset and then challenge the next player to make him better, or if not, earn his place to do that. It’s not easy to do that.”

 

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