Gunners continue midfield hunt with duo in their sights
FA Cup favourites Arsenal (4/9) have continued their hunt for midfield recruits this summer by reportedly tracking Dynamo Kiev’s Younes Belhanda and Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons.
Belhanda, 24, in particular, has already stated his desire to move to the Premier League. “How long will I stay at Dynamo? I don’t know. If I have opportunities to go higher, I will seize them,” he told French reporters.
“I am dreaming about England. Every player wants to play in England one day. I have to experience that,” he added, before the clincher: “My favourite club? Arsenal, of course.”
The French-born Morocco international has been attracting interest from top European club for many years now – including Arsenal when he was at Montpellier – and now the Gunners are ready to step up a bid.
Primarily an attacking midfielder, Belhanda has managed seven goals and four assists in 26 Ukrainian Premier Liga and Europa League games this season so far. Arsene Wenger would be wanting him to challenge the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky for a starting place.
The other target on Arsenal’s radar is 25-year-old six-capped Frenchman Gonalons, who has also been tracked by Manchester United (to qualify for Champions League semis against Bayern Munich at 11/2) and Napoli.
Gonalons, who has played for Lyon his whole professional career, nearly joined the Naples club in January, and Wenger will look to capitalise on Rafa Benitez’s loss.
Arsenal have also been linked with PSG star Marco Verratti recently, as they look to bolster their injury-hit and form-lacking squad.
They have now slipped out of the title race – currently in fourth place – and nervously sit just one point ahead of Everton (11/8 top four hopes), who have a game in hand. Arsenal are still odds-on at 8/13, however, to finish in a Champions League spot.