Arsenal prepare straight swap deal involving 22-year-old Gunners star in exchange for new midfielder: Reports 

Arteta wants to make moves in the transfer market
Arteta wants to make moves in the transfer market

Arsenal are preparing a straight swap offer involving Albert Sambi Lokonga in their bid to sign Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli, as per Italian outlet CalcioMercatoWeb.

Lokonga arrived at the Emirates from Anderlecht in the summer of 2021 for a fee of around €17.5 million but has struggled for regular starts since then. Just 11 of his 24 Premier League appearances across both seasons have seen him in the starting XI.

However, at the age of 22, the Belgian could be someone that manager Mikel Arteta gives more chances to in the future. His current deal at the Emirates expires in the summer of 2026.

Locatelli, meanwhile, is reportedly not in manager Massimiliano Allegri's long-term plans at Juve. The Italy international signed an initial two-year loan deal from Sassuolo in 2021. Juve are obligated to make the transfer permanent next summer.

There is believed to be a chance for Juve to agree to such a proposition, considering both players are valued at around €30 million each. Despite claims that Locatelli isn't an 'absolute starter' for the Old Lady, he has been just that this season.

The former AC Milan midfielder has started six out of a possible eight league matches for Juventus this season, missing the other three games due to injury. The Italian is nearing the prime years of his playing career and could be an able partner for either Granit Xhaka or Thomas Partey in Arteta's midfield.

The Gunners, however, could face competition from Brighton & Hove Albion, who have also been linked with the Italian recently.

Granit Xhaka makes bold claim about Arsenal teammate

Xhaka, who scored Arsenal's third goal in their 3-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur on October 1, believes Gabriel Martinelli has what it takes to make it to the top.

The Brazilian winger and the Switzerland international started against Spurs, with the former setting up the latter for his 67th-minute goal. After the game, Xhaka said (h/t the Metro):

"Gabriel Martinelli has a lot to be one of the best. He goes 100mph. He has to push himself with how far he can go. He has the team and everything around [to] help him."

Martinelli has scored thrice and assisted once in nine games across competitions for Arsenal this season. If the youngster continues this run of form, he could make Brazil manager Tite's 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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