Arsenal report: Concrete move for 'the new Andres Iniesta' being prepared for January - with one source claiming it's been 'agreed' for £13m

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta looks on during the UEFA Champions League match between Sevilla FC and Arsenal FC at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on October 24, 2023 in Seville, Spain.
(Image credit: Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Arsenal could bring "the new Andres Iniesta" to north London as Mikel Arteta addresses his midfield this January.

The Gunners are top of the league but have had a number of issues with their midfield this season. Thomas Partey's unavailability has hampered the Gunners, as Arteta searches for a long-term option to slot in alongside Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard.

Former Chelsea stars Jorginho and Kai Havertz have held down the third starting place in the middle – but now, another option has emerged on the transfer market.

Martin Odegaard and Kai Havertz celebrate after the German scores his first Arsenal goal in the 4-0 win away to Bournemouth in September 2023.

Arsenal's midfield has been somewhat in flux this season (Image credit: Getty Images)

Tuttomercato reports that a concrete bid is being prepared for Belgian wonderkid Arthur Vermeeren. 

Former Arsenal star Marc Overmars – now director of football at Royal Antwerp, where Vermereen plays – has previously compared the starlet to Barcelona legends, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, stating that Vermeeren can reach the top of the game in time. 

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Incredibly, however, TEAMtalk claimed last month that a move was "agreed", citing a fee of €15 million (£13.1m). An agreement seems incredibly premature, however, while the fee would lower than plenty of Belgian league transfers, with Milan midfielder Charles De Ketelaere currently the record at over €30m.

Vermeeren is capable of playing as a No.6 or a No.8 and would likely be a longer-term project than the likes of Havertz or Rice, needing time to adapt. Whether Arteta would be patient enough to trust a youngster with first-team football in a title run-in remains to be seen, too.

Arthur Vermeeren celebrates after scoring for Royal Antwerp against club Brugge in May 2023.

Arthur Vermeeren is wanted by Arsenal (Image credit: Getty Images)

Given that Arsenal have several extremely bright prospects emerging in the centre of the park, such as Myles Lewis-Skelley, Ethan Nwaneri and Charlie Patino, any player brought in this winter would have to be signed with the intention of allowing youth to bloom in coming years in that position. 

Vermeeren is valued at €25 million by Transfermarkt

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