Arsenal are willing to offer Albert Sambi Lokonga in a player-plus-cash deal to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in January, Calciomercatoweb claim.
The north London giants have been in superb form during the first half of the campaign. They are currently top of the Premier League with 28 points, two ahead of Manchester City.
The short-term focus should be on maintaining the first position until the World Cup break. The hierarchy could then ponder over high-profile signings to challenge for the title.
Milinkovic-Savic has been one of the best box-to-box midfielders in European football for some time and it is now reported that the Gunners are keen on landing him this winter.
The club are prepared to include Lokonga valued at €25 million as a makeweight to sign the Serbia international, who could cost another €50-60m in transfer fees.
Milinkovic-Savic would be a superb addition to the Arsenal squad
Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey have been the regular choices at the heart of the Gunners midfield and the former has been a revelation from his advanced midfield position.
He has already made seven goal involvements for the Gunners this term, more than he managed in the previous two seasons. Hence, it can be said that he is in the form of his life.
The Swiss has been excellently partnered by Partey, who has done the defensive work behind him, but the Gunners still need another elite midfielder to push for the title.
Both Xhaka and Partey were injured at different phases of last season. If one of them is sidelined again, Arsenal’s season could be in tatters with the lack of quality depth.
Mohamed Elneny is out for the long-term with a serious hamstring injury while Lokonga has not impressed sufficiently. The Belgian has yet to demonstrate a strong defensive resolve.
Milinkovic-Savic could be the answer to their problems. The Serbian is a box-to-box midfielder and he has already bagged four goals and seven assists from 15 games for Lazio this term.
Defensively, he has been equally impressive with an average of two tackles while winning 2.5 aerial duels. His pass completion is low at 75 per cent which is normal for a regular chance creator.
The Serbian would be a quality addition to the Gunners squad. Milinkovic-Savic is obviously better as a number eight. His arrival could help balance the workload of Partey and Xhaka to avoid injuries.
Arsenal are unlikely to pay the reported €120m price tag set by Lazio president Claudio Lolito, but a player-plus-cash deal makes sense. The Serie A outfit could also be tempted by the proposal.
Milinkovic-Savic will enter the final year of his Lazio deal next summer and as things stand, the club have yet to persuade him to put pen-to-paper on a new long-term contract.