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Arsene Wenger has set aside £55m to sign Leicester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez and Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson when the summer transfer window opens in July, according to The Express.
Wenger has reportedly agreed to extend his own contract which expires at the end of the season and has begun preparations for next season. The boss has now drawn up a short list of top players which includes a striker, a winger, a centre back, a left back and a goalkeeper.
Wenger’s men fell short of expectations this season and he is keen to strengthen the squad to avoid a repeat next season.
Last season’s PFA player of the year Riyad Mahrez is said to be top of Wenger’s shopping list. The winger is valued at around £30m and Arsenal are expected to rival a host of other top clubs for the Algerian’s services.
Mahrez could come in to take up Alexis Sanchez’s spot in our starting xi with the Chilean still being linked with a move away from the Emirates.
Boro’s Gibson is another player who also features highly on Arsenal’s shopping list and Wenger who instructed scouts to watch the England international on several occasions this season is set to make a move for the gifted defender.
Gibson is still contracted to Boro until 2021 is currently valued at around £30m which is £5m more than what Wenger is prepared to pay. However, a compromise won’t be difficult to reach as regards signing defender if truly he is top of our wish list.
Centre defense could be one position that Wenger will pay special attention to this summer. Wenger appears to have favored a three at the back formation in recent weeks and reports suggest he may stick with same formation next season.
Should this be the case, we will need more centre backs to provide strength in depth and Gibson would be a quality addition to our squad for the future, also helping us boost our homegrown quota.
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