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Arsenal make approach to sign international forward as Arteta eyes bargain swoop

By on January 15, 2020

According to Sky Sport Italia via the Metro, Arsenal have made an approach to sign Dries Mertens on a free transfer when his contract expires with Napoli at the end of the season.

Mikel Arteta needs to revamp the squad he inherited from Unai Emery as we need to strengthen several positions if we’re to challenge at the top end of the table again following a disastrous season.

However, the Spaniard is working on a shoe-string budget with reports suggesting he can only bring in new players on loan this month. No doubt funds will be made available in the summer but the budget will be severely effected if Arsenal miss out on Champions League football again.

Therefore, it’s no surprise to hear the club are looking at a bargain swoop to sign Mertens on a free transfer with Gianluca Di Marzio and Sky Sport Italia, via the Metro, claiming Arsenal have opened talks about signing the forward this summer.

The Belgian international is able to speak with foreign clubs about a free transfer move in the summer as he’s out-of-contract at Napoli in June and Arsenal are reportedly ready to battle Roma for his signature.

The report suggests that Mertens could be viewed as a potential replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as his future at the club is in doubt. The Gabon hitman has just 18 months left on his deal and is no closer to signing an extension with reports suggesting he may look to leave Arsenal if we don’t qualify for the Champions League.

I personally don’t see Mertens as a direct replacement for Auba but he’d be a decent free transfer signing if we could lure him to the Emirates and it would make a lot of sense if Arteta is working on a tight budget.

The boss will need to sign at least one top class defender and a central midfielder in the summer, plus other squad positions, so it would be a good bit of business if we could sign Mertens for nothing and save our money to strengthen other others.

The 32-year-old is versatile as he can play anywhere across the front three and he’s got a solid goal ratio having provided 118 goals and 71 assists in his 304 since joining Napoli from PSV in 2013.

*Note: I can’t find a link to the story online at Gianluca Di Marzio or Sky Sport Italia as it was discussed live on TV.

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