Arsenal want Ilkay Gundogan to be one of three midfield signings this summer
Arsenal are preparing moves for three players to revamp their midfield in the summer transfer window.
Mikel Arteta received spending approval when the market opened and the midfielder was prioritised.
With Thomas Partey’s fitness issues, Granit Xhaka’s imminent departure and Jorginho entering the final year of his contract, Arsenal are in desperate need of reinforcements.
And according to The Athletic, the Gunners are planning an ambitious triple-hit for Ilkay Gundogan, Declan Rice and Mason Mount.
Gundogan captained Manchester City to the Premier League title this season, but his contract expires at the end of the campaign.
It remains to be seen if the German will stay at the Etihad but Arteta is personally pushing the club to sign him on a free transfer.
The Arsenal boss knows Gundogan well from his time at City as assistant manager to Pep Guardiola.
And he found success with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus, two players who arrived from City.
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Arteta believes the City captain is the ideal replacement for Xhaka, whose experience and leadership skills are not easy to come by.
But Gundogan has spent seven years at the Etihad now and won five Premier League titles while Arsenal’s side are already the youngest in the division, and the 32-year-old could offer some advice to youngsters.
And with moves planned for West Ham star Rice and Chelsea’s Mount, that experience will be even more vital.
Arsenal could have a very different midfield composition next season if they succeed and land both Rice and Mount.
The two are close friends and have been linked with departures from their respective clubs.
Hammers boss David Moyes has admitted he may be powerless to stop Rice leaving after a sensational season.
While contract issues at Chelsea have meant Mount is seriously considering his options with just one year remaining on his contract.
Liverpool and Manchester United are also interested in the England international, which could be a problem for the Blues as they look to rebuild after a disastrous season.
The London club haven’t given up hope of tying the 24-year-old to a new deal, but an exit looks likely at present.