By Will Butcher

Arsenal are set to enter a fierce transfer battle with Manchester City and Everton for the signature of Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, according to a reliable journalist.

Transfer expert Dean Jones claimed in his Bleacher Report column that Arsenal sources say there is a “high chance” of a move for the 23-year-old in the summer, but they will face competition for the in-form star.

It is believed that Arsenal spies were in attendance at Vicarage Road on Saturday to watch Pickford shine against Watford, as he tried in vain to keep the Hornets out.

Despite making a number of fantastic saves between the sticks, Pickford could do nothing to prevent the only goal of the game and would have impressed scouts during the 1-0 loss.

That could see the Gunners look to sign Pickford this summer, as doubts continue to rise over the future of Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina with Fenerbahce reportedly keen.

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However, Claudio Bravo’s form could see Pep Guardiola’s City move for Pickford, while Joel Robles is yet to convince Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park.

Wearing the number 13 shirt on Wearside, Pickford has more than three years remaining on his current Sunderland contract and is likely to command a substantial transfer fee should he leave.

Football Insider verdict:

Pickford would be a fantastic signing for the Gunners. Adding to their homegrown quota, the youngster is showing leadership qualities in a beleaguered Sunderland side at the bottom of the table despite his tender age and is arguably one of their only top performers at the moment along with Jermain Defoe. If he is able to produce such eye-catching displays in a side that are coming under constant pressure, Pickford would see his number of clean sheets and England prospects rise if he keeps goal behind the defence of a potential top-four side. Known for his instant reflexes, communication from the goalline and ability to deal with balls into the box, the Gunners could find themselves mounting a title charge with the signing of the young Englishman.

In other Arsenal transfer news, fans have reacted to reported interested in this 29-year-old.

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