Arsenal must agree deal to sign 'new Andres Iniesta' in January, €25m fee required - View


Arsenal are expected to reinforce their midfield department next year with the likes of Jorginho, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny in their 30s.

Royal Antwerp wonderkid Arthur Vermeeren is one of the players on the Gunners’ radar and TuttoMercatoWeb claim the club are ready to make a €15 million bid for him in January.

However, Antwerp are reluctant to accept anything less than €25m for the teenager, who is also attracting interest from Napoli and Barcelona. It is claimed that the valuation could increase during the summer.

In our view, the Gunners must pay the asking price for the Belgian prodigy in the New Year or they could risk missing out on his signature to Barcelona, who have been closely monitoring his progress.

The 18-year-old made his first-team debut last season. He has since managed 58 appearances for Antwerp with half of them from the defensive midfield role.

Vermeeren can also operate from the central midfield position and has the potential to become a top-class box-to-box midfielder in the forthcoming seasons.

This campaign, he has made six goal contributions from 24 outings, but has also been brilliant defensively with 1.9 tackles and 3.5 duels won per appearance.

However, the Belgian’s main strength is his ability to dispossess opponents while tracking back. He has managed a stunning 8.3 ball recoveries per game.

There are no surprises that Arsenal are interested. Barcelona are also his admirers, but they are not in a position to spend with their ongoing Financial Fair Play issues.

It is unclear whether they will manage to register Vitor Roque in January which makes a deal for Vermeeren highly unlikely until the end of the campaign.

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