Mikel Arteta gets ruthless with struggling star as Arsenal agree second summer transfer – Football News

Mikel Arteta gets ruthless with struggling star as Arsenal agree second summer transfer

Mikel Arteta is on the verge of another Arsenal signing. (Image: Getty)

Oleksandr Zinchenko’s future at Arsenal looks in jeopardy with Mikel Arteta on the verge of his second summer signing. According to widespread reports, the club have agreed a deal with Bologna for highly-rated defender Riccardo Calafiori.

The 22-year-old, who only moved to Serie A from Basel last summer, is set to join in a deal with £45million.

It follows Calafiori emerging as one of the few bright spots in Italy’s Euro 2024 campaign, with an own goal in the group stage loss to Spain failing to tarnish his tournament.

Should they complete the signing, it will be viewed as a major coup for Arsenal given the player has also been linked with a reunion with former boss Thiago Motta at Juventus. Chelsea have also previously tracked the star, who is equally adept in the middle of defence or at left-back.

And it’s that factor which could now spell the end of Zinchenko’s time in north London. Hailed as an important addition when he arrived from Manchester City for a fee of £30 million in 2022, the Ukrainian fell out of favour with Arteta during his side’s 2023/24 title run-in.

The manager was seen berating the player during the 2-0 home loss to Aston Villa on April 14, a result that ultimately cost the Gunners the title. With his side trailing in the closing stages, Zinchencko appeared out of sync with the rest of his defence, and was duly berated by his boss.

Arsenal FC v Everton FC - Premier League

Oleksandr Zinchenko’s Arsenal future appears in doubt. (Image: Getty)

Instead, the Spaniard favoured Japanese international Takehiro Tomiyasu in the weeks that followed. And with Calafiori unlikely to be targeted to break up the accomplished partnership of William Saliba and Gabriel, Arteta has now further bolstered his options on the left side of defence.

Zinchenko, 27, made 35 club appearances in the last campaign, but failed to replicate the form of his debut season. And he also struggled for his country at Euro 2024 as Ukraine went out in the group stages.

He still has two years left on his deal at the Emirates, meaning the club could still demand a healthy fee. And given the ruthlessness Arteta has shown as his stock has risen at Arsenal, the Spaniard is unlikely to carry any potential passengers in his squad as he bids to finally overhaul Manchester City in the Premier League in 2024/25.

Don’t miss…
England can pin Van Dijk message on dressing room wall to inspire Euros win [LATEST]
Spanish and Dutch media taunt England after reaching Euro 2024 semi-finals [LATEST]
Netherlands given early Euro 2024 advantage as UEFA sting England for semi-final [LATEST]

Indeed, Califiori would become the club’s second summer signing, after keeper David Raya made his loan move from Brentford permanent. And despite that deal, the club have been linked with a string of keepers, increasing the likelihood that Aaron Ramsdale will be joining Zinchenko in heading for the exit door.

Given Arsenal’s desire to remain compliant with profit and sustainability rules, sales will also need to be made to fund Califiori’s move. And given his pedigree as a four-time Premier League winner at City, there would be no shortage of interested parties in Zinchenko.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1920091/mikel-arteta-arsenal-Riccardo-Calafiori-Zinchenko