Premier League Arsenal are chasing the versatile Jean-Philippe Gbamin from Bundesliga outfit Mainz in a bid to shore up their leaky backline, according to the Daily Star.
The 23-year-old has become a rock at the heart of the German outfit’s midfield, but can also play as a centre-half or right-back.
His employers blocked a move to the Gunners last summer, but it seems that manager Unai Emery is prepared to try again for the 23-year-old’s signature.
Gbamin carries the ball well through the centre of the park, has an eye for a long-range effort and has contributed two league goals already this season.
Where he would play should he arrive at the Emirates Stadium in the upcoming window is perhaps the most questionable aspect of the move.
Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira have been arguably two of Arsenal’s most impressive performers this term and both play in Gbamin’s position.
It could therefore be the case that the Ivory Coast international drops back into a central defensive role, an area in which the North Londoners have notoriously struggled not just during the current campaign, but over the past five years or more.
However, the quoted fee of £40 million could prove a major stumbling block, especially given that Emery may only have £45 million in total at his disposal for the entire window.
The Spaniard enjoyed a positive start to his Arsenal tenure after taking over from the long-serving Arsene Wenger ahead of this season, but the team has stumbled recently and face stiff competition from Chelsea and Manchester United for the fourth and final Champions League place.
What has become clear is the size of Emery’s task at Arsenal, having inherited a squad that requires major surgery before it can be reasonably considered a challenger for England’s top prize.