Arsenal are set to scrap plans to sign Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella and will look to move for Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet instead.
With Aaron Ramsey set for a move to Serie A champions Juventus in the summer, there is a vacancy in Arsenal’s central midfield that is needed to be filled.
According to a report by the Daily Star, Arsenal were looking to sign Cagliari midfielder Nicolò Barella as a replacement but deemed the £43m-rated Italian as being too expensive and will look to sign Praet instead.
The 24-year-old Belgian is reportedly available for £21m, which is within Arsenal’s summer transfer budget and manager Unai Emery is interested in bringing him to north London.
Praet was given a guided tour of Arsenal’s training facilities as a 15-year-old Genk player when Arsène Wenger was at the helm of the the Gunners.
The report states that an Arsenal scout watched Praet in Sampdoria’s 2-1 loss to Lazio on Saturday.
Praet started his career at Belgian side Anderlecht, where he made 182 appearances and won three league titles.
He moved to Serie A club Sampdoria in 2016 where he has impressed with his passing and vision. He has two years left on his contract with the Italian outfit.
Arsenal currently sit in fifth-place in the Premier League, two points behind Chelsea in the race to finish in the top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
However, the Gunners could qualify for the Champions League by winning this season’s Europa League. They face Valencia in the first-leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday at the Emirates, with the return leg at the Mestalla Stadium on May 9.