Arsenal want to sign Mikel Merino after Riccardo Calafiori

Arsenal could sign a new central midfielder and a left-sided defender this summer, according to The Athletic.

The Gunners are currently in advanced discussions with Bologna for Riccardo Calafiori and a deal could be finalised in the next few days.

Real Sociedad’s Mikel Merino has also been linked with the club. Gunners manager Mikel Arteta admires his talent and physicality.

Merino would suit Arsenal’s playing style

The Spaniard only completed 77 percent of his passes in La Liga last season.

Despite this, he appears to be attracting interest due to his creativity and ability to stop opponents in their stride with his strong defensive skills.

Merino won an average of 10.2 duels per appearance last season with 6.2 ball recoveries. He also won 2.4 tackles on average, making 1.7 clearances.

The former Magpies man chipped in with eight goals and five assists from 45 games last term.

Merino has some demerits such as his average passing accuracy and knack of losing possession, but he is forward-minded from midfield.

This could be a reason for Arteta’s interest. The manager has reportedly held secret talks with Merino, who could be signed for just £21 million.

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