Arsenal Join RB Leipzig in Race to Sign Free Agent Malang Sarr

Malang Sarr
Free agent defender Malang Sarr | TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal have made an approach for free agent Malang Sarr this summer, but will have to fight off competition from RB Leipzig if they are to secure a deal.

The Gunners' funds are set to be limited this summer and they've already wrapped up permanent deals for cheaper alternatives Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari, while David Luiz also signed a one-year extension at the club.

David Luiz
David Luiz extended his stay in north London by another year | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Thus, free agents will be of particular interest for Mikel Arteta and according to Spanish outlet Marca (via the Express) former OGC Nice defender Sarr has emerged as a potential target after the 21-year-old let his contract run out at the French club.

Sarr is set to be in high demand and has drawn the attention of Julian Nagelsmann's Leipzig as well as the Gunners, with a whole host of other clubs said to be keen on a deal as well.

Despite his age, the defender has made 119 senior appearances for Nice following his debut in 2016 as a 17-year-old. Sarr appeared 19 times in Ligue 1 this term and his ability to play as part of a back three makes him an intriguing option in the market for Arteta.

The Spaniard has deployed a 3-4-3 as of late and although it remains to be seen whether it's his desired long-term plan, it's a system that would make Sarr's potential acclimatisation phase just a little bit easier after regularly appearing on the left-hand side of a back three under Patrick Vieira.

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Sarr has often been utilised as part of a back three under Patrick Vieira at Nice | YANN COATSALIOU/Getty Images

While still raw with plenty of scope for development, there's no doubting the France Under-21 international's talent. His athleticism and proactiveness are admirable, while he's also a tremendous ball-player.

However, a considerable dip in form this term suggest he's in desperate need of a new challenge and after seeing the wonders Arteta has worked with a previously calamitous Arsenal defence, north London may well be a wise choice for the young Frenchman.