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Arsenal news: Gunners ‘hold talks’ with Lille star as Youri Tielemans alternative emerges | Football | Sport

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Arsenal have reportedly held talks with the agent of Lille teen Amadou Onana as sporting director Edu scouts out midfield alternatives to Youri Tielemans. The Gunners are long-term admirers of the Leicester City star, but with slow progress frustrating fans, there may come a time when the club are forced to chop their losses. 

Mikel Arteta has already welcomed a latest face to his midfield ranks this summer, having splashed out £34million to sign Fabio Vieira from Porto. But a sturdier presence than the 5ft 7in Portuguese can be considered so as, with Tielemans the prime candidate for a while. 

Based on CBS Sports, Arsenal and Tielemans have already agreed terms, but an official bid is yet to be placed. With Leicester potentially gearing as much as play hardball, Edu and Arteta have been nailing down alternative options. 

One among them is believed to be Onana, and RMC Sport claim that the Gunners have already held talks with the 20-year-old’s entourage. 

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Onana joined Lille from Hamburg last 12 months, and he has since racked up 32 Ligue 1 appearances for the French outfit. The teen has already received a call-up to the Belgian national team, with plenty more international caps expected to come back his way as he gains more experience. 

At a towering 6ft 5in, Onana could definitely handle the physical rigours of the Premier League and ticks the box of a sturdier option for Arteta to call on. For the above reasons, Arsenal’s interest is assumed to have been matched by other clubs – including Premier League sides ‘from London‘. 

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The Gunners have already had a productive summer, bolstering their squad options with Matt Turner and Marquinhos while adding a possible first-team regular in Vieira. Arteta has also set about tackling his attacking shortage, with Gabriel Jesus’ official unveiling expected any day after agreeing a £45million transfer from Manchester City. 

Arsenal are still considered in with a likelihood of signing Raphinha from Leeds United, despite rival interest from Chelsea and Barcelona. Arteta is under pressure to shut the gap on fourth spot after losing out to local foes Tottenham last term, with significant sums spent on squad improvements for the second consecutive summer. 

Streamlining the squad shall be a high priority before the beginning of the brand new season, and club legend Nigel Winterburn has urged the manager to ditch two players particularly. “It’s clear to me that [Lucas Torreira] desires to go,” he said. “Those players out on loan, who won’t be getting a lot game time, we’ve got to clear those out to bring latest players in.

“[Hector] Bellerin remains to be our player is not he? There are players there who can do a job for Arsenal but are seemingly not in Mikel Arteta’s plans, otherwise they likely would not have gone out on loan. Now we have to maneuver these players on to liberate the wage bill.”

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