Arsenal make decision on signing Bamba after Caicedo bid rejected

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Arsenal have decided against pursuing Ibrahima Bamba this month, according to reports. The Gunners are instead interested in a summer move for the Italian midfielder.

Arsenal are in the market for a midfielder before Tuesday’s deadline. An injury to Mohamed Elneny has seen Mikel Arteta consider a variety of targets.

The Premier League leaders have seen an offer of £60million rejected for Brighton star Moises Caicedo. Arsenal are likely to return with an improved bid.

However, Bamba is one of a host of other players to have been linked with a move to the Emirates this week. His agent moved to deny claims his client was set to join Arsenal.

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But reported interest in the player refuses to go away. Italian outlet Sport Italia now claims Arsenal would prefer to sign the 20-year-old at the end of the season, rather than in this window.

Serie A sides Napoli, Bologna and Atalanta are also interested in the player, who came through the academy at Italian outfit Pro Vercelli. Bamba currently plays for Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes and has made just 23 senior league appearances in his career to date.

Bamba’s agent Filipe Macedo Alves was in London this week. However, he says the trip was not regarding talks over Bamba’s future.

Alves told O Jogo: “It’s true that I was in London, but I am just arriving from Germany, where I was watching [Edmond] Tapsoba’s game. Bamba is not the only player I work with.

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“He’s a player profile that is clearly of interest to many clubs, but today he is a Vitoria player and is only focused on Monday’s game in Chaves. The market is open, but I’m not going to feed rumours.”

Caicedo appears to be the top target for Arteta heading into the final few days of the window. Arteta said at his press conference this week that signing a midfielder was high on his agenda.

He said: “There are some concerns [about Elneny], especially as Mo never complains about anything but let’s see. We need some more cover in midfield ideally if we can, but in this market it is pretty complicated to do that.

“As I always say, the most important thing is that we get the performances and the time on the pitch that we need with the players that we have available today that are already really good.”

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