Arsenal report: Gunners to move for Federico Valverde after Champions League display

Federico Valverde
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal (opens in new tab) scouts went to the Bernabeu to watch Mykhaylo Mudryk in action against Real Madrid (opens in new tab) in the Champions League last week but left raving about Federico Valverde instead.

The energetic Uruguayan midfielder shone in the home side’s 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk (opens in new tab) and has been electric over the last year for Real Madrid. He set up the winner for Vinicius Jr in the Champions League final this year, too. 

The result left the reigning champions top of their group with nine points from their opening three games.

Federico Valverde

Federico Valverde in action for Uruguay (Image credit: Getty)

According to Defensa Central (opens in new tab), Arsenal remain keen to complete a deal for Mudryk but Valverde’s dominant performance stood out most.

The 24-year-old, operating alongside Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni in central midfield, showed exceptional work rate and quality throughout.

Since making his Real Madrid debut against Viktoria Plzen in October 2018, he has racked up 160 appearances for the club over the past four years.

An intelligent and versatile player, capable of playing anywhere across the middle, Valverde continues to blossom.

Although Arsenal succeeded in signing Martin Odegaard from Real on a permanent deal last summer, there is little hope of his former teammate completing a similar move to the Emirates.

Valued at around £70million and growing in importance at club and international level, Valverde has no reason to leave the Bernabeu. His contract was extended just over a year ago and ties him to Real until July 2027, with little incentive for them to sell one of their prize assets.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta giving a press confefence

Mikel Arteta wants added solidity in midfield (Image credit: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

He has become a vital part of Carlo Ancelotti’s side, helping them reclaim the title from fierce rivals Atletico Madrid last season.

Valverde also starred in Real’s historic Champions League success, making 11 appearances in the competition and setting up the final’s only goal against Liverpool.

In the second half, he received the ball out wide on the right, drove towards the edge of the box and slid in a perfect cross to the back post for Vinicius Junior to convert from close range.

More Arsenal stories

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli; the Gunners are said to have already made contact with the Italy international's camp.

Meanwhile, one man who could be heading for the Emirates Stadium exit door is Gabriel Martinelli: there's been talk of Chelsea making a shock swoop for the winger.

In other news, Aaron Ramsdale says that the Gunners have been motivated to succeed this season by the disappointment of missing out on Champions League qualification last term. The goalkeeper was speaking after Saturday's 3-1 North London derby win over Tottenham – a result which kept Mikel Arteta's side top of the Premier League. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Sean Cole
Writer

Sean Cole is a freelance journalist. He has written for FourFourTwo, BBC Sport and When Saturday Comes among others. A Birmingham City supporter and staunch Nikola Zigic advocate, he once scored a hat-trick at St. Andrew’s (in a half-time game). He also has far too many football shirts and spends far too much time reading the Wikipedia pages of obscure players.