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The Man City player Arsenal can sign to overtake rivals

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, 2023/24

Arsenal will be hoping that they can undo the wrongs of last season by beating Manchester City to the Premier League this year and the Gunners could benefit further by taking more than the title away from their rivals.

The Gunners currently sit third in the Premier League, one point behind City and two away from leaders Liverpool, however Mikel Arteta’s side have been the most in-form team since the start of the year, winning seven straight games.

Arsenal are also the league’s highest scorers and best defence, while Arteta will certainly feel his team have yet to reach their full potential, with the likes of Jurrien Timber, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Oleksandr Zinchenko still sidelined with injury.

But regardless of the outcome of this season, Arteta will still be looking for ways to improve his squad in the summer and the fitness concerns over his defenders may see the Guners boss look for reinforcements across his back line.

In particular, while youngster Jakub Kiwior has impressed at left-back in recent weeks, Arsenal are still unconvinced by their options down that side, with Zinchenko believed to be an option to be sold this summer.

Arteta’s quest for a left-back could see him return to familiar territory, with City keen to offload a long-term Arsenal target in Joao Cancelo and the Portuguese international facing an uncertain situation over where he will be playing next season.

Joao Cancelo has impressed on loan at Barcelona
© IMAGO – Joao Cancelo has impressed on loan at Barcelona

Why Cancelo could follow Jorginho example in Arsenal transfer

Arsenal had considered a move for Cancelo last summer before he joined Barcelona on deadline day and, while the La Liga side are keen to make his loan permanent, City’s asking price of €40 million is proving to be a stumbling block.

Cancelo is not believed to have a future at City after falling out with manager Pep Guardiola last season, which saw him spend the second half of the campaign on loan at Bayern Munich having started the year as the club’s first-choice left back.

City were unable to get their desired asking price for Cancelo last summer and it is unlikely that teams will be rushing to meet the high demands for the 29-year-old this year either.

Cancelo would represent a matching fit for Arsenal, be it as an upgrade for Zinchenko as an inverted left back or a reliable option at right-back if concerns still remain over the fitness of Timber and Tomiyasu.

The wing-back’s history of attitude problems and age may see him not be Arsenal’s first choice but, as Barcelona saw last summer, City may be willing to negotiate a reasonable deal in order to get rid of a player they have no desire to keep.

While Arteta prefers a squad of younger talent, he has proven to be opportunistic in signing older players from rivals before, such as Jorginho from Chelsea, while City and Arsenal both have history of conducting transfers with each other despite being competitors on the pitch.

Barcelona will still be favourites to sign Cancelo and will hope City’s asking price drops over the summer but Arsenal are still better positioned to outbid the Catalans and could end up adding significant pedigree to their squad with a shrewd signing from their rivals.

Read more about: Premier League, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Jakub Kiwior, Joao Cancelo, Jurrien Timber, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Takehiro Tomiyasu

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