By Matt Bullin

Arsenal have won the race to sign Schalke’s soon-to-be out of contract left-back Sead Kolasinac according to a report.

Bosnian news outlet Reprezentacija claim that Kolasinac has signed a pre-contract agreement with Arsenal ahead of next season, with his contract due to expire at the end of June.

Reprezentacija also report that he has chosen his squad number and been told that manager Arsene Wenger is set to stay on as manager of the club.

It had previously been reported that Liverpool were keen on the left-back and saw him as a replacement for James Milner.

The 23-time Bosnia and Herzegovina International has featured heavily for Schalke this term and has made 31 appearances in all competitions, in which he has scored three goals and provided seven assists.

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If the report is true it signals an early start for Wenger as he looks to rebuild his team ahead of one last tilt at the Premier League and Champions League before he leaves.

If Wenger does stay it will likely be for a final two years at the Emirates.

Football Insider verdict

Arsenal fans – at least those that still have affection for Wenger – will be hugely pleased to see the club has secured the services of Kolasinac. Not only as a replacement for the likely outgoing Nacho Monreal, but also because the 23-year-old is an upgrade and has the potential to be one of Europe’s elite full-backs. Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton have been rumoured to be interested in signing the left-back, as well as a host of other top European clubs. Another reason to be delighted for Gunners fans is the price – he’s reportedly joining on a free. Signing players on a free is always a bonus for any team – but this deal, while solving a defensive issue for Arsenal, also leaves open the funds for further squad development in the summer. And even the most hardened Wenger fan would admit that’s necessary if they’re going to challenge for the major silverware next season. 

In other Arsenal transfer news, Arsenal are plotting a two-player raid of Celtic according to reports.

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