Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Arsenal will "100%" sign a new right-back this summer.
What did Romano say?
Addressing Arsenal's search for a right-back on The Here We Go Podcast, Romano stated that the club want to sign a player for this position, but admitted that they may not land Inter Milan's Achraf Hakimi due to his wage demands.
Romano said: "They are going for a right-back – 100%. Arsenal will sign a new right-back. Bellerin has two chances to leave the club, as we mentioned last week, but they are going for a new right-back, and I see a lot of rumours about Hakimi but Inter want to keep Hakimi and it won’t be easy to sign Hakimi from Inter.
"They are asking me, Arsenal fans: ‘Is it true that we want Hakimi?’ Who doesn’t? He’s fantastic. But Inter paid €45m and the salary is the big problem with Hakimi, because Hakimi’s having a salary around €4-4.5m net per season. It’s a big one for Arsenal in this moment. So, that’s why it’s complicated, and let’s see, but it’s complicated at the moment."
How badly do Arsenal need a right-back?
It seems that Hector Bellerin is set to leave the club this summer, and he has failed to feature in any of Arsenal's last six league matches.
Meanwhile, Cedric Soares has often had to cover at left-back, and has struggled to show that he is good enough when he has played on the right-hand side - picking up an average match rating of just 6.48 from WhoScored.
This has meant that Calum Chambers has filled in at right-back in four of the side's last five domestic games. The Gunners have only kept one clean sheet in those fixtures, and it is debatable as to whether Chambers would be more suited to playing in central defence rather than as a full-back.
It is also a gamble for Arsenal to be relying on a player who only returned from a serious knee injury earlier this season. They need a long-term solution at right-back, and it seems that Chambers is not the answer.
How has Hakimi fared at Inter this season?
Romano mentioned Hakimi as a possible target, and it is no surprise that the Moroccan wing-back has captured Arsenal's attention.
The 22-year-old has provided 11 goal contributions in 29 appearances for Antonio Conte's men, helping the team open up an 11-point gap at the top of Serie A.
His defensive numbers have also been eye-catching. He has made 1.5 successful tackles per game this year - putting him ahead of Bellerin (1.2), Cedric (1.2) and Chambers (0.8).
Are there any alternatives?
Last month, Romano claimed that Arsenal have been scouting Brighton's Tariq Lamptey this term. The youngster has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a hamstring injury, but was very impressive prior to his setback.
The full-back completed 1.2 successful dribbles per match in his 11 appearances, leaving Bellerin (0.5), Cedric (0.5) and Chambers (0.3) trailing in his wake.
He was also effective at breaking up opposition attacks, making 1.7 interceptions per game, which again leaves him clear of Bellerin (1.3), Cedric (0.8) and Chambers (0.5).
If Arsenal can't agree a deal for Hakimi, they may opt to turn their attentions to Lamptey instead.News Now - Sport News