Report: Arsenal look to sign enforcer, Wenger has opened talks with agent

By Harry Sykes

Arsenal have lined up a January swoop for Roma midfield enforcer Leandro Paredes, according to a report.

The Sun claim that “Wenger wants to bolster his midfield with some young talent and has already been in touch with Paredes’ representatives in Italy”.

It is said that the Giallorossi midfield anchorman has emerged on the radar of the Gunners after a number of influential displays for the Serie A side.

Former Argentina Under-17 international Paredes has been a regular for Roma this season, making 16 appearances in all competitions and scoring a single goal.

Paredes joined Roma, initially on loan, in 2014 before completing a permanent move to the Italian club 12 months later.

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He then spent the 2015-16 campaign at Chievo, where he made 33 appearances in all competitions and impressed with some dynamic displays in central midfield.

Arsenal’s first-choice midfield pair are Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla, who is currently sidelined with an achilles problem and is a major doubt for Saturday’s Premier League showdown against Manchester United.

The duo are backed up by £30million-plus summer signing Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny, both of whom joined the Gunners this year.

Football Insider verdict:

Wenger has bought two central midfielders in the past two windows but it is little surprise to see him looking to make it three out of a possible three. The best sides have a dynamic figure in central midfield to set the tone and conduct the play, much in the way that N’Golo Kante and Jordan Henderson have been doing at Chelsea and Liverpool respectively. Arsenal still do not have that player. Elneny and Xhaka have showed promising signs since joining, but neither has nailed down a first-team spot, while Cazorla is 31 and increasingly troubled by injury and Coquelin has his limitations. With Jack Wilshere on loan at Bournemouth and increasingly unlikely to play for Arsenal again and Aaron Ramsey more comfortable in an advanced role, there is still room in Wenger’s midfield for a dynamic enforcer. Paredes could be that man.

In other Arsenal transfer news, fans have reacted on Twitter to speculation about a £50million deal.