Arsenal transfer rumours: Yves Bissouma price tag revealed

Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma warms up against West Ham United

Brighton have told Arsenal to pay £40m if they want to sign Yves Bissouma this summer, according to The Sun

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They claim both the North London giants and Liverpool have been told that the Mali midfielder will cost a relative premium despite the fact he is entering the final two years of his contract on the South Coast. 

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Indeed, while Brighton are understood to be aware there is little they can do to stop Bissouma leaving if big clubs do come in for him, they are determined to get as much money as they can.

What do Arsenal want? 

It is also claimed Mikel Arteta wants to pair Bissouma with Thomas Partey in an effort to build a midfield capable of challenging the Premier League's elite next season. 

Given Bissouma ranks amongst the top ten players in the division for tackles per game (2.8, via WhoScored) and the top twenty for interceptions (1.7) while Partey himself averages 1.8 tackles, the make-up of that midfield pairing would certainly be one of steel, something Arsenal have been accused of lacking for a while now. 

With the future of Granit Xhaka and loanee Dani Ceballos far from certain, Bissouma would appear to be an upgrade in providing protection in the middle of the park, while his 1.81 carries into the opposition's final third per game (via FBREF) is higher than Xhaka's. 

Of Bissouma, Partey, Ceballos and Xhaka, it is the Brighton man who averages the highest successful pressing percentage too (34.3%), so he would appear to be a substantial upgrade in a number of areas. 

Do Arsenal have much money to spend? 

Speaking on last week's episode of the Touchline Talk Podcast, Dean Jones revealed that Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke was likely to offer Arteta extra funds this summer despite a disappointing first full season in charge. 

"I think Stan Kroenke will give extra backing in the transfer window in terms of funds," he said from 10:05 mark onwards.

Having managed to move the likes of Mesut Ozil off of the wage bill earlier this year, perhaps there will be scope to tempt Bissouma into a move, albeit it might be more difficult given Arsenal are hugely unlikely to be playing in Europe next season. 

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What has Paul Merson said about Yves Bissouma? 

Speaking on Sky Sports News on April 24th, former Arsenal legend Paul Merson talked up Bissouma. 

“Off the top of my head, I am thinking Arsenal would take him, Manchester United would take him," he said (via HITC). 

“There are not too many people around in football at the moment who can break things up and pass the ball at the same time.”

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