Arsenal narrow down targets in search for new midfielder

  • Arsenal looking to sign midfielder during summer transfer window
  • Bruno Guimaraes and Martin Zubimendi among targets
  • Gunners not currently advancing any plans for new defender
Guimaraes and Zubimendi are two of Arsenal\s targets
Guimaraes and Zubimendi are two of Arsenal\s targets / Gareth Copley/Getty Images, Pedro Loureiro/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Arsenal are expected to push ahead with plans to sign a new midfielder this summer, with Bruno Guimaraes and Martin Zubimendi among their top targets, sources have told 90min.

The Gunners are putting together transfer plans ahead of the 2024/25 season and have made bringing in a midfielder to complement Declan Rice a priority.

90min understands who Arsenal buy will depend on their longer-term plans for Rice. Mikel Arteta likes to have defined roles for his midfielders and they are still to decide on whether the England international should play predominantly as a number six or number eight. Although flexibility is appreciated, how Rice is classified internally will determine who Arsenal target. 

As 90min previously reported, Guimaraes is on the north Londoners' radar. The Brazil international, like Rice, is capable of playing as a six and eight. Newcastle manager Eddie Howe is happy utilising versatile midfielders, but it's understood Arteta wants a little more clarity in the centre of the park.

Guimaraes' contract contains a £100m release clause which expires at the end of June and financial considerations do make a transfer tough for Arsenal. But as first revealed by 90min, there is a verbal agreement in place with Newcastle to listen to offers worth at least £80m from Champions League clubs. Manchester City are also interested in Guimaraes, but Paris Saint-Germain have dropped their interest and are focusing on Bernardo Silva instead.

Bruno Guimarães, Bernardo Silva - Soccer Midfielder
PSG will not rival Arsenal for Guimaraes and are now looking at Silva / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Another midfielder right at the top of Arsenal's shortlist is Spain international Zubimendi, who they have considered over the last two transfer windows. However, in January he was keen to stay at Real Sociedad and help them compete in the knockout stages of this season's Champions League.

Douglas Luiz was the subject of multiple bids from Arsenal at the end of the summer 2022 window and remains a target, but it is unlikely that he will leave Aston Villa as they are on the verge of qualifying for the Champions League and do not need to sell.

Reports have suggested that Arsenal are also hoping to sign a defender, though 90min understands there has not been any concrete movement on that front just yet.

Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite - a target for Manchester United - has been monitored by Arsenal, but the Toffees' valuation of him could exceed £70m after securing Premier League safety and this would prove prohibitive for the Gunners. There may be a chance to capitalise on Everton’s financial situation with a lower offer, but as of now the club have not set a price. Ajax's 18-year-old sensation Jorrel Hato has also been looked at.