Arsenal may be able to complete the signing of Yves Bissouma from Brighton and Hove Albion this summer without opposition from Liverpool, who have been priced out of a move for the 24-year-old’s signature, according to reports. Bissouma has reportedly been tracked by both clubs ahead of next season, with Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp looking to strengthen their respective midfield ranks over the coming months.
Arsenal are said to be planning a large-scale overhaul of their playing squad in order to build on this season’s disappointing eighth-placed Premier League finish.
The Gunners are also said to be eyeing the likes of Sheffield United’s Sander Berge and Denis Zakaria of Borussia Monchengladbach, but appear to have identified Bissouma as their preferred candidate.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are in need of a top-class box-to-box option to fill the void left by Georginio Wijnaldum’s departure.
Bissouma has emerged as one of Brighton’s most influential players since joining the club from Lille in 2018, featuring in all but two of the club’s Premier League matches this season.
The Mali international’s consistently impressive performances have gained plenty of admirers, with his formidable physical presence, cultured range of passing and ability to work around a high press catching the eye over the course of the campaign.
Although Liverpool are believed to be keen on signing the midfielder, it seems as though a move could be just out of reach this summer, which could allow Arsenal to swoop in and secure his services without a hitch.
The Reds have baulked at Bissouma’s £50million price tag and turned their focus towards pursuing the alternative signing of Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella, according to Anfield Central.
The Italian midfielder could be one of many players to leave the San Siro this summer, with the newly-crowned Serie A champions seemingly in turmoil after the surprise departure of boss Antonio Conte earlier this month.
Liverpool have already parted ways with £36m to bring RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate to Anfield, and with money still tight as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they will need to spend carefully in order to stand any chance of regaining their Premier League title credentials next season
The Merseyside club’s reluctance to meet Brighton’s asking price for Bissouma appears to have given Arsenal the edge, but it remains to be seen whether the Gunners will act on their reported interest ahead of the new campaign.
Seagulls CEO Paul Barber admitted earlier this week that the club’s best players would be available for the right price this summer, suggesting that a move for Bissouma could be a real possibility for the north London club.
“I don’t see it [interest in Bissouma] as a negative at all,” Barber told The Athletic.
“The more the big clubs that are interested in our players, the more we’re doing right, so I am delighted with that.
“We know some of our best players aren’t going to be with us forever and, if the right offer comes along – and it has to be the right offer – and they want to leave, then they can go.
“If we’ve got players leaving, then we’ve got back-up internally, and we can go out into the transfer market. We’re always looking ahead.
“We’re always trying to scout the best young players and bring them into our squad, or loan them out. It’s a really important part of what we do.”