Arsenal 'add Florian Grillitsch' to summer shopping list

Grilitsch will be a free agent in the summer
Grilitsch will be a free agent in the summer / Simon Hofmann/GettyImages

Arsenal have once again been linked with longstanding transfer target Florian Grillitsch, with the Hoffenheim midfielder set to become a free agent in the summer.

The German press have touted Arsenal's interest in the player since 2018, and the Gunners could finally be set to make their move as the 26-year-old comes towards the end of his contract at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

According to The Telegraph, Arsenal are prepared to rival Champions League clubs to secure the defensive midfielder's signature, while there is also interest from elsewhere in the Premier League.

Both Everton and Leeds are said to have been monitoring his situation and Newcastle have been linked in the past, but there is also likely to be competition from top four clubs in Germany - who have obviously seen him playing regularly up close - and from Spain.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is looking to add quality depth to his midfield in anticipation of Mohamed Elneny's contract expiring in the summer.

Considering he will be available on a free transfer, long-term target Grillitsch is inevitably an attractive proposition. He currently earns around £35,000 per week with the Bundesliga side, meaning he will fit well within Arsenal's wage structure.

The Austria international is versatile, too, having played the majority of games this season at centre-back, and he has experience in both the Champions League and Europa League with Hoffenheim as Arsenal prepare for a return to European football.

Speaking recently about whether Arsenal would be active in the summer transfer window, Arteta said: "I am expecting so, yes. I think both competitions [the Champions League and Europa League] require a much larger squad because the amount of games you play is much bigger in both, so I don’t think [which you qualify for] makes a lot of difference or changes a lot.

"If you can financially afford it and we don’t have to do the turnaround in the squad that we’ve had to do, if you ask me what I want it’s 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers."

The Gunners top four hopes currently hang in the balance following three consecutive defeats in the Premier League. It remains to be seen whether they can compete for their main transfer targets should they fail to qualify for the Champions League.