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Arsenal report: Gunners in shock talks to sign "the new Andrea Pirlo" for £47m

Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta during the Arsenal Media Day at the Arsenal Training Ground at London Colney on August 01, 2022 in St Albans, England.
(Image credit: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images))

Arsenal are still looking for new recruits this summer with a player dubbed "the next Andrea Pirlo" next on the list of targets.

The Gunners have already had a busy summer as one of the biggest-spending clubs in the Premier League, having made headlines with the double-capture of Manchester City pair Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko for a combined £75 million.

Mikel Arteta has also tied up deals for Brazilian starlet Marquinhos and backup goalkeeper Matt Turner – while former Porto playmaker Fabio Vieira signed for £30m to take the north Londoners' summer spree into nine figures. 

Fabio Vieira of Arsenal during Arsenal training session at Omni Resort on July 19, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.

(Image credit: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

According to Calcio Mercato (opens in new tab), Vieira may not be the only midfielder added to the squad, with Arsenal having enquired about AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali.

The Scudetto holders have apparently said that Tonali is "non-transferable" – but have set a £47m asking price on the 22-year-old's head. Given that I Rossoneri are currently headed by former Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis, the Gunners may hope that a good working relationship with a former staff member may ease negotiations. 

Arsenal have previously been linked (opens in new tab) with another Milan midfielder in Algeria international Ismael Bennacer, who left London Colney in 2017 to move to Serie A.

Tonali, however, is two years younger than Bennacer and arguably less defensive-minded. Compared to the iconic World Cup-winning Pirlo (opens in new tab), Tonali has performed as a "regista" at the base of a midfield – just like Pirlo towards the end of his career – but is more often used as a No.8, capable of splitting defences with passes and playing on the front foot. 

Sandro Tonali attends an AC Milan training session at Milanello on July 29, 2022 in Milan, Italy.

(Image credit: Pier Marco Tacca/AC Milan via Getty Images)

Arsenal are also said to still be in the hunt for Youri Tielemans (opens in new tab), who started the season as a Leicester City player in the 2-2 draw with Brentford on Sunday. The Belgian schemer could, however, be half as expensive as Tonali, since he is running down his contract at the King Power Stadium.

Given that there are rumours that Tielemans has already agreed on personal terms should he move to the Emirates Stadium, it seems possible that the Gunners are waiting to see what happens with other bids before making the move for the Leicester star. 

Arteta's side were previously interested in Raphinha (opens in new tab) before the Brazilian attacker was sold by Leeds United to Barcelona. He would have cost around £60m – and Arsenal didn't bother entering into a bidding war for his signature. 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

(Image credit: Getty)

With the Gunners now said to be interested in Yeremi Pino and Cody Gakpo, Arteta may be waiting to see how much an attacker costs before going for Tielemans. Should he have more money spare than expected, a higher-priced option such as Tonali may be pursued instead.

Tonali is valued by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab) to be worth around £45m.

More Arsenal stories

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has declared that the Gunners aren't finished with their spending this summer

Lucas Paqueta has been heavily rumoured as a target in the centre of midfield, as has Youri Tielemans of Leicester CityArthur Melo has been touted, too, though new signing Oleksandr Zinchenko – who says its his dream come true to join his boyhood club – can play in midfield as well. N'Golo Kante has also been linked

A big-money winger seemingly remains the last piece of the puzzle for the Gunners, while Gabriel Jesus' agent has revealed other sides were in for the striker and one wonderkid has departed the Emirates

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