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Highly-rated Arsenal midfielder 'wanted by Serie A clubs'

Highly-rated Arsenal midfielder 'wanted by Serie A clubs'
© Reuters
Arsenal midfielder Charlie Patino is at the centre of a three-way transfer battle between Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan, according to a report.

Arsenal midfielder Charlie Patino is reportedly at the centre of a transfer battle involving three of Italy's most revered clubs.

The 20-year-old was formerly regarded as one of the brightest talents to emerge from the Hale End youth system, and he memorably scored on his debut for Arsenal in a 5-1 EFL Cup rout of Sunderland in December 2021.

Patino was subsequently handed his first Gunners start in a 1-0 FA Cup loss to Nottingham Forest the following month, but he has not made another first-team appearance since, spending time out on loan with Blackpool and Swansea City.

The midfielder's time in the lower leagues has been worthwhile, as he has conjured up four goals and four assists from 33 games in a Swansea jersey this season, but his fortunes have taken a nosedive in the second half of the season.

After enjoying regular starts during his opening months at Swansea, the Gunners loanee has fallen down the pecking order under new boss Luke Williams and has not started a Championship game since New Year's Day.

Charlie Patino in action for Arsenal in July 2022© Reuters

Juventus among clubs interested in Patino

Patino has been an unused substitute in three of the Swans' last four Championship clashes, including Saturday's 1-0 win over already-relegated Rotherham United, and a return to the Emirates this summer is imminent.

Last year, Arsenal apparently activated an extension in Patino's contract to keep the England Under-21 international at the club until 2025, but a parting of the ways is seemingly on the cards this summer.

According to Calciomercato, all of Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan are eyeing moves for Patino, who has allegedly made it clear that he wants out of Arsenal in the summer window.

Contrary to previous reports, the Italian outlet claims that Patino's contract actually expires this summer rather than in 2025, putting the Gunners at risk of losing him on a free transfer.

The former Luton Town academy product would therefore be free to discuss pre-contract terms with foreign clubs, and Juventus are said to be leading the race to sign him at this stage.

Can Patino's Arsenal career still be revived?

Arsenal's Charlie Patino celebrates scoring their fifth goal with Eddie Nketiah and Rob Holding on December 21, 2021© Reuters

Clips of Patino weaving his way through challenges at Under-21 level did the rounds on social media a few years back, leaving Gooners in awe of their latest talented youth product, whose stock only rose higher when he tapped in on his debut in December 2021.

The Englishman's scrawny stature did not lend itself to Premier League football, although he has since bulked up, and Arsenal could part ways with a multitude of midfielders in the summer market.

Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny are both out of contract this summer, while Thomas Partey's agreement only runs until the summer of 2025, and Emile Smith Rowe's future remains clouded in uncertainty too.

However, as Arsenal pursue the services of Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi and Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich, Patino's game time would ostensibly be severely limited should he elect to stay on in North London.

As a result, the 20-year-old is believed to be prepared to advance his career in another country, and he would supposedly snub interest from Fulham to try his hand at Serie A football.

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