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Arsenal 'make contact' over move for £50m-rated Premier League midfielder

Arsenal could deal Man United transfer blow as 'contact' made over £50m deal
© Reuters
Arsenal reportedly make contact with Everton over a deal for 22-year-old midfielder Amadou Onana, who is valued at £50m by the Toffees.

Arsenal have apparently taken the first step towards their maiden summer signing by making contact with Premier League rivals Everton over a deal for a £50m-rated midfielder.

The Gunners' search for a number six has led them to consider a swoop for Belgium international Amadou Onana, who has risen to prominence during his time in Ligue 1 and the Premier League.

Arriving at Goodison Park from the 2020-21 French champions two years ago, Onana has played an integral role in Everton's survival scraps, helping the Toffees to retain their perennial Premier League status.

The 22-year-old has registered four goals and three assists from 72 matches in an Everton jersey, including three strikes and one assist from 37 matches across all competitions in the 2023-24 campaign.

Onana still has three years left to run on his Goodison Park contract, but he has talked up the prospect of representing a revered European club at some point in the near future and could be sold for the right price to alleviate Everton's financial problems.

Everton's Amadou Onana celebrates after the match on February 19, 2024© Reuters

Arsenal 'touch base' over Onana after several midfield blows

According to the Liverpool Echo, Arsenal have now firmed up their interest in the former Lille man by touching base with Everton to enquire about his availability in the summer window.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is understood to be a keen admirer of Onana, whose performance in a 1-0 win over the North London giants in February 2023 was apparently talked about in the Arsenal dressing room after full time.

While Onana's potential is not under any question, Toffees head coach Sean Dyche reportedly does not feel that the Belgium international is central to his plans, and a deal could materialise for the right price.

Everton would supposedly be after at least £50m to let Onana - who is also on Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Newcastle United's radar - depart, and Arsenal have positioned themselves at the head of the queue.

Should Arteta's men win the race for his services, they could harm Manchester United's efforts to sign defender Jarrad Branthwaite - who was the subject of a £35m opening offer from the Red Devils on Friday - as Onana's sale before June 30 would lessen Everton's need to raise funds through the Englishman's prospective sale.

Everton midfielder Amadou Onana on December 16, 2023© Reuters

The Gunners have been linked with a multitude of midfielders in recent weeks, including Bruno Guimaraes, Martin Zubimendi and Douglas Luiz, but none of the trio are attainable for Arteta's men.

Guimaraes's Newcastle United contract reportedly contains a £100m release clause which can only be triggered before June 30, while Luiz on on the verge of joining Juventus from Aston Villa.

What will Onana bring to Arsenal?

Declan Rice's £105m signing last year had seemingly solved Arsenal's holding midfield quandary, but as the ex-West Ham United man excelled in a box-to-box role, Arteta is still looking for a number six to fill the boots of Thomas Partey and Jorginho.

Onana would fit the bill perfectly, and the 6ft 4in Belgian would provide Arsenal with one of the best aerial threats in the Premier League, having won 74.3% of his duels off the ground in the 2023-24 season.

Only Virgil van Dijk, Harry Maguire and Joe Gomez out-performed Onana in that regard, meaning that the Belgian could add yet another dimension to Arsenal's already effective set-pieces.

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Everton's Amadou Onana celebrates after the match on February 19, 2024
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