Arsenal: Arteta details plan to return to top four
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Arsenal would have to offer at least £60million to sign Edmond Tapsoba this summer, according to reports. Tapsoba has been linked with a move to Arsenal from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen. However, Leverkusen are very reluctant to let the centre-back leave the club.
Arsenal are in the market for a defender following the departure of David Luiz.
Luiz has left the Gunners for free after spending two years at the Emirates.
Rob Holding is the only right-footed centre-back in the current first-team squad, hence the interest in Tapsoba.
William Saliba will return from his loan spell at Nice this summer but it remains to be seen how much Mikel Arteta will be prepared to use the 20-year-old.
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Earlier this month, Italian football journalist Gianluigi Longari claimed Arsenal had held talks with Leverkusen after making Tapsoba their top defensive target.
However, Leverkusen are not keen on selling the 22-year-old.
German outlet Bild says the departures of Sven Bender, who has retired, and Aleksandar Dragovic, who has moved to Red Star Belgrade, make Leverkusen even more determined to keep Tapsoba.
Bild reports that Arsenal are still interested in signing the Burkina Faso international.
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However, Leverkusen would not listen to any offers below £60m (€70m).
Tapsoba signed a new contract in late 2020 which commits him to Leverkusen until the summer of 2026.
The club’s sports director Simon Rolfes is planning to have Tapsoba at the club next season.
“Edmond should also play a very important role for us next season,” Rolfes told Bild.
Arsenal will meanwhile not be playing European football next season after finishing eighth in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta.
It is the first time in 26 years that the Gunners have not qualified for any European competition.
Arteta is hopeful a full pre-season will help make the difference as he attempts to right the wrongs of this campaign.
He said: “I’m sad because this club deserves to be delivered trophies and the Champions League. We haven’t managed that.
“It’s very challenging circumstances but we’ve tried to stick together and do our best. It’s not been enough.
“We have to be very critical of ourselves, of myself, and then prepare the best possible way for next season to take advantage of that.
“Hopefully we can have the pre-season that I haven’t had, and have time to work with those players and try to be a better team.”
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