Report: Arsenal eye first-teamer replacement as they table £15m bid for Euro 2016 star
By Will Butcher
Arsenal have entered the race to sign Napoli right-back Elseid Hysaj, according to a report.
The 22-year-old Albania international is the centre of a tug of war between Spanish giants Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, with the Italian side seemingly losing their battle to keep him.
Reliable French website Le 10 Sport claim Arsene Wenger has decided to throw his hat into the ring and table an offer of £14.8 million for the defender.
This is almost £10 million more than Napoli paid for Hysaj’s signature last summer after signing him from Empoli.
Wenger is looking to act quickly amid increased speculation surrounding Spanish right-back Hector Bellerin, who has reportedly been lined up by Barcelona to replace Juventus’ new signing Dani Alves.
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The interest in Hysaj could signal the end of both Carl Jenkinson and Mathieu Debuchy’s time at the Emirates, with both being linked with moves elsewhere.
However, Hysaj’s agent, Mario Giuffredi has questioned the Gunners’ stature in the game, believing it would be a step sideways.
He said: “I consider Arsenal to be on the same level as Napoli, certainly not better. Napoli have become on of the most important clubs in Europe.”
Hysaj has started all three of Albania’s games at Euro 2016 so far, and was one of the first names on Napoli’s team-sheet last year, starting 37 of the team’s impressive Serie A campaign.
In other Arsenal transfer news, Wenger has failed in his pursuit for this Premier League sensation.