Surprise Ligue 1 club leading race to sign Arsenal target: Reports

Arsenal trail Nice in the race to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk.
Arsenal trail Nice in the race to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk.

OGC Nice are reportedly leading the race to sign Arsenal transfer target and Shakhtar Donetsk star, Mykhaylo Mudryk.

As per the Sun (h/t the Shields Gazette), Bayer Leverkusen, Brentford, Everton, Newcastle United, and Sevilla are also in the race to sign the Ukraine international. Nice, however, are prepared to make a formal ยฃ25 million offer for the 21-year-old in January.

Mudryk is still in his formative years and could be a smart long-term investment by any club that potentially signs him. The winger has started the season in fine fashion and has two goals and six assists to his name in six games across competitions.

It remains to be seen if manager Igor Jovicevic will be open to seeing one of his best players depart the club mid-season. Shakhtar are under no real pressure to sell Mudryk when it comes to his contract situation, as his deal expires in the summer of 2026.

Alexandre Lacazette's departure from Arsenal this summer was compensated for by the arrival of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City for a fee of ยฃ45 million. Marquinhos has also arrived from Sao Paulo but has enjoyed just one minute of competitive action in his debut Premier League season so far.

Manager Mikel Arteta currently has two 21-year-old wingers of his own that he trusts down the flanks. Gabriel Martinelli has made the left flank his own while Bukayo Saka plays down the opposite wing.

However, the duo's respective contracts expire in the summer of 2024 and they are yet to pen a new deal. Chelsea are said to be among the clubs keeping track of the Brazilian's situation at Arsenal.

The Gunners will undoubtedly want to tie Martinelli and Saka down to new deals. However, if they find that difficult, Mudryk could cushion that blow to some extent.

Arsenal laying foundations to sign Juventus midfielder in January - Reports

Arsenal seem to already be planning for the January transfer window. According to Calciomercato (h/t Sport Witness), the Gunners have made initial contact over a move for Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli.

The Italy international joined Juve from Sassuolo in the summer of 2021 on a two-year loan deal. The Old Lady are obligated to make the transfer permanent next summer but are open to selling him for the right offer in the first month of next year.

Locatelli has started in seven out of a possible 10 games for Juve across all competitions this season. He missed the other three encounters due to muscle fatigue but has since recovered from the injury.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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