Mikel Arteta turns to Pedro Neto alternative as Arsenal ‘explore’ late £17m transfer swoop
The Arsenal boss is on the hunt for attacking reinforcements before Thursday’s deadline as a deal for Pedro Neto is thrown into doubt
Martin Odegaard has proven to be a big success at Arsenal since making the permanent switch from Real Madrid last summer, and Mikel Arteta could now look to repeat a similar masterstroke signing before the window slams shut on Thursday.
That’s because the Gunners are said to be exploring a deal to sign Odegaard’s former teammate, Marco Asensio, according to the Mirror. The report claims that Asensio has joined Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute agency, and a representative is on standby to talk to the Gunners in London, with sources close to the player suggesting Arsenal remain in the driving seat to secure his signature despite links to Manchester United.
It has also been previously reported that Real Madrid offered Asensio a new contract, with just under a year remaining on his current deal. However, the new offer did not match the player’s demands, increasing fears he could eventually move on as a free agent.
Arsenal have been showing an interest in Wolves’ Pedro Neto, with discussions between the club and the aforementioned Jorge Mendes taking place over the past month. Despite this, The Athletic has reported that a deal for the Portuguese winger is now unlikely due to the substantial fee involved.
Valued between £17m – £25.6m by CIES Football Observatory, Asensio would represent a cheaper alternative that still has a lot to give. Despite not always being a regular starter for Los Blancos over the last couple of seasons due to a cruciate ligament rupture in 2020, the right-winger has remained a key part of the squad and still managed to bag 12 goals in all competitions last season. He can also play on the left or through the middle as an attacking midfielder, offering the versatility that Arteta often desires.
Prior to his move to Arsenal, Odegaard was also a Real Madrid player who endured struggles connected to playing time. He was loaned out on multiple occasions, but even when he did play for the Spanish giants, he was not reaching his full potential due to the inconsistencies surrounding his role.
For Asensio, the serious injury sustained two years ago has also made it difficult for him to find consistency and potential, but like Odegaard, the signs are there for him to discover both again in the future.
Arteta is believed to be keen on bolstering his frontline with more “firepower” after Nicolas Pepe joined OGC Nice on loan. As well as being able to provide solid competition for the likes of Odegaard and Bukayo Saka, Asensio also possesses qualities that make him the perfect fit for Arsenal.
Good on the ball, an excellent passer and a threat in front of goal, the Spanish international would bring not only extra quality but also a winning mentality after experiencing incredible silverware success with Madrid, which includes three Champions League trophies...TAP.TO.READ MORE.
Despite all the obstacles faced, Odegaard is now flourishing under Arteta’s leadership in north London, and there’s no reason that Asensio cannot do the same at 26.
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