Arsenal: First fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Arsenal are weighing up a move for Torino and Italy forward Andrea Belotti after watching the 27-year-old impress at Euro 2020, according to reports. The Gunners are believed to be in the market for a striker ahead of the new campaign, with Mikel Arteta looking to bolster his ranks in order to build on last season’s disappointing efforts.
The Spaniard was unable to seal European qualification last time around, with Arsenal slumping to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League table.
The north London club’s season was characterised by a distinct lack of quality and consistency in crucial moments, and a summer of change is widely expected to play out at the Emirates Stadium as Arteta reshuffles his pack.
He is believed to be targeting reinforcements in a number of problem areas, particularly at the top of the pitch.
Arsenal’s attacking options are somewhat limited for a side with high hopes of regaining their Champions League status, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggling to fire on all cylinders last season and Eddie Nketiah having been deemed surplus to requirements.
Alexandre Lacazette has been the club’s best performer in front of goal as of late, but the Frenchman is facing an uncertain future with his current deal set to expire next summer.
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The situation leaves Arsenal with a dilemma over whether to cash in and replace the 30-year-old this summer or risk losing him for nothing in a year’s time.
If the Gunners decide to move on from Lacazette over the coming weeks and months, it seems as though Belotti could quickly emerge as a priority target.
Arsenal chiefs are keeping tabs on the Italy marksman as they consider launching a move for his services, according to Tuttosport.
It is claimed that the three-time Premier League champions would have ‘no difficulty’ in negotiating Belotti’s capture, with Torino looking for a fee in the region of just £29.1million in order to part ways with their star man.
He scored 13 goals for the Serie A side in all competitions last season, but will also be out of contract next summer and there has reportedly been minimal progress with regards to a new deal.
Although the signing of Belotti would go a long way to improving Arsenal’s offensive capabilities, it remains to be seen whether the Gunners will be able to win the race for his signature this summer.
Plenty of clubs are said to be tracking the forward’s situation, including AC Milan, Roma, Fiorentina and Napoli, which could spell trouble for the Gunners if he decides to remain in Italy.
Torino president Urbano Cairo insisted last year that he had no desire to sell Belotti, but the 64-year-old may soon be forced into action unless a new contract is agreed ahead of next season.
Cairo told Rai Radio: “I’m not selling him, why should I? He’s also a very good striker for the Italy team, so I’m keeping hold of him.
“I’ve rejected big money for him and I haven’t regretted it at all. No-one ever came up with €100m, otherwise I would’ve been forced to sell him.
“But I don’t want to get into figures. He isn’t for sale.”
Belotti’s stock is likely to have risen as a result of his performances at the Euros, with the man from Calcinate impressing when called upon by Italy boss Roberto Mancini.
He enjoyed a significant influence on his side’s extra-time win over Austria on Saturday evening, coming on as a late substitute with six minutes of the second half remaining.
Goals from Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina sealed a 2-1 win for the Azzurri at Wembley Stadium to set up a quarter-final meeting with Belgium.
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