Arsenal are in a battle with Italian giants, Inter Milan, for the signing of Monaco’s defensive midfielder, Geoffrey Kondogbia, according to sources in Italian media.
At 22 years-old he is young, but has already proven himself as a huge talent, moving to Monaco from Sevilla where he also impressed, in 2013 for €20 million.
Arsenal are in need of a defensive midfielder to improve their squad, if not their first team, with the likes of Matthieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta seemingly heading for the exit door this summer. Even if both of them do not leave, they are players whose quality could certainly be improved upon.
The Frenchman put in a man of the match performance against Arsenal at the Emirates earlier this year, helping his side knock them out of the Champions League Round of 16.
Although Francis Coquelin has been a big part of the Arsenal starting eleven in the latter half of this season, it is widely thought of as an area in need of strengthening even further. Too often Arsenal struggle to balance attack and defence in the big games, costing them valuable points, or champions league progression.
Kondogbia, is young and French and talented, and therefore fits the bill for an ideal Wenger signing. But the midfielder is currently on £200k+ per week at Monaco, and has three more years to run on his contract, making a deal seem unlikely unless the player is willing to sacrifice some of his wage.
In terms of the transfer fee though, in Italy they are reporting that Monaco would be willing to sell him, so long as they make a considerable profit on the player. A rumoured £25m seems a fair amount in this climate for someone of his age and potential.
Inter Milan are looking for reinforcements so that they can fight their way back into Champions League contention next season, but Arsenal on the other hand have already gained automatic qualification, which along with their French contingent and Arsene Wenger, you would think would make Arsenal preferable should he leave.
However, Arsenal are lining up a number of defensive midfield options should things here not work out, with Schneiderlin and Vidal still being monitored as well, leaving Arsene and his team with some big decisions to make.