Arsenal chasing highly-rated centre-back with clear objective in mind: report

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal celebrates after the MLS All-Star Game between Arsenal FC and MLS All-Stars at Audi Field on July 19, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Image credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal show no signs of slowing down in the transfer market this summer, despite having already spent over £200m on Delcan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.

Mikel Arteta is eager to bolster his squad ahead of the new season after his young Gunners side just missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City, and the Spaniard is focussing on his defence once again.

Indeed, after William Saliba suffered an injury against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League in March, Arsenal looked shaky defensively as Jakub Kiwior and Rob Holding stepped into central defence. As a result, Arsenal are targeting a new centre-back for the team.

According to Italian outlet Firenze Viola, Arsenal are interested in signing Dinamo Zagreb defender Josip Sutalo. The report also suggests that Fulham, Fiorentina, Ajax, RB Leipzig and Napoli are all interested, with Fiorentina reportedly the side pushing for a transfer the hardest. 

However, the Gunners would likely be among the favourites for his signature, should they make an official bid. The Croatian side value Sutalo at around £20m, though an auction for the player could drive that price up.

Transfermarkt values Sutalo at £15m, who has five years still remaining on his contract.

Arsenal target Josip Sutalo of Croatia during the UEFA Nations League final match between Croatia and Spain at Feyenoord Stadion de Kuip on June 18, 2023 in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Josip Sutalo has played eight times for Croatia so far (Image credit: Getty Images)

Signing Sutalo would, though, be a huge statement of intent for the Gunners, highlighting they are planning on competing on all four fronts in the new campaign, with a squad capable of the pressures and demands. 

The 23-year-old has been capped eight times for Croatia during his career, often partnering the Manchester City-bound Josko Gvardiol at centre-back. He played 36 times for Dinamo Zagreb last season, too, including every minute of their Champions League campaign. 

Any deal for Sutalo might have to wait, though, with Arsenal concentrating on bringing in Brazilian midfielder Bitello from Gremio, in a deal worth under £10m. 

João Paulo Bitello of Gremio in action during Brasileirao 2023 match between Gremio and Botafogo at Arena do Gremio on July 9, 2023 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Arsenal are also interested in Bitello of Gremio (Image credit: Richard Ducker/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

More Arsenal stories

Arsenal transfer news is ramping up this summer, with the Gunners spending £200m early in the window. 

The Gunners could be targeting two more Manchester City players, according to reports. Xavi Simons is on the radar and Ivan Fresneda could join, though Arsenal could sell £100m worth of players, too. Romeo Lavia is in the crosshairs – though Liverpool want him, tooTakehiro Tomiyasu is set for an "intriguing switch", while Moises Caicedo looks Chelsea-bound

Arsenal are believed to want another right-winger, while Gabri Veiga favours Arsenal over Spurs

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.