ARSENAL are planning a summer raid for Aston Villa sensation Carney Chukwuemeka, reports suggest.
Chukwuemeka, 18, has caught the Gunners’ attention during the nine appearances he’s made for Villa in the Premier League this season.
The Gunners have identified Villa starlet Chukwuemeka as the ideal replacement for Xhaka in midfieldCredit: Rex
And the Gunners have sent representatives to watch the 6ft 1in powerhouse who slots in the No10 role on a few occasions this season, the Evening Standard report.
It’s thought that the nifty Nigerian could be a replacement for Arsenal’s Swiss star Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park.
Xhaka’s rapidly approaching 30 and it’s unlikely that Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will activate a contract clause to keep the former club captain on for another year when his contract ends in 2024.
And Xhaka could end up leaving before then if reports from Calciomercato are true.
The Italian publication claim that Jose Mourinho’s intent on bringing Xhaka to Roma this summer – with the Swiss international also keen on linking up with the Portuguese philosopher.
Despite Chukwuemeka’s youth, Arteta views him as a star for the future as he aims to bring back the glory days to The Emirates.
But the Gunners will have to thwart interest from rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool – who were among five clubs chasing Chukwemeka last year.
The Gunners have also reportedly sent scouts to check out Palmeiras prodigy Danilo to shore up a new-look midfield with Chukwuemeka, the Standard added.
However, recruiting the 20-year-old could prove to be difficult as Palmeiras are unwilling to let go of their prized asset who’s also being hunted by Ligue 1 duo Lille and Monaco.
Both Danilo and Chukwuemeka are just two stars on an 11-man shortlist compiled by the Gunners who are planning a complete squad overhaul.
After their gutsy 3-2 win over Watford last week, the North London club are on the cusp of attaining Champions League football next season.
And if they can keep a grip on the coveted fourth Prem spot in May, Arteta’s going to need a plethora of new players to compete on all fronts in the 2022/23 campaign.