Arsenal set transfer plan in motion and ‘make contact’ with Leicester City target

Arsenal: Arteta coy when quizzed on European Super League

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Arsenal are set to battle Premier League rivals Leicester City for the signing of exciting Empoli midfielder Samuele Ricci, according to reports. Mikel Arteta has already shown that he is willing to give youth a chance, since replacing Unai Emery in 2019.

In his first full season in charge, which hasn’t gone completely to plan, the Gunners boss has turned to a number of youngsters in order to kickstart their failing campaign.

Academy graduates Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have become regulars this term, while there have also been opportunities for the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun and Gabriel Martinelli.

Arteta knows that he will need to continue to refresh his squad, with a bottom half finish still a very serious possibility.

The Spaniard has confirmed that along with technical director Edu, plans are already in place to be active when the window reopens at the end of the season.

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And according to reports in Italy, Ricci could be on Arteta’s radar as he looks for midfield reinforcements.

Tuttomercato claim that the Gunners, along with Leicester, are keen on the 19-year-old, who is described as ‘one of the most interesting talents in Italian football’.

It is suggested that the two Premier League clubs have already made contact with Ricci’s agent Federico Pastorello.

Ricci, who has two goals and four assists in Italy’s second tier this season, will have just 12-months remaining on his deal at the end of the season.

Napoli have also been linked with the Italy U-19 international with Empoli president Fabrizio Corsi addressing the links to the Serie A club.

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“Samuele Ricci to Napoli? We talk too much about him and if we talk too much about young people, it’s not good.

“We need to protect them. I was unable to protect him, now just say a half word and the boys arrive in half an hour,” Corsi told Radio Marte via Sport Witness.

It is believed that Arsenal will look to sign at least four players this summer and Arteta has already identified the quartet of positions he wishes to strengthen.

Football.London claim that Arsenal will look to recruit a back-up goalkeeper for Bernd Leno, with current understudy Mat Ryan leading the race.

They will also be looking for a right-back amid suggestions that Hector Bellerin could leave the Emirates this summer.

The former Barcelona defender has been linked with a return to the Nou Camp, while Paris Saint-Germain have been touted as a potential destination.

Edu and Arteta are also looking at a back-up option for Kieran Tierney on the opposite flank, in order to avoid the kind of scenario that has faced them this season.

The Scotland international is set to miss the rest of the season, leaving Granit Xhaka to plug the gap as they look to end the campaign as strongly as possible.

Finally, an attacking midfielder is definitely a want, with Martin Odegaard’s future still up in the air after joining on loan from Real Madrid in January.

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