Fabrizio Romano: Arsenal eye 'perfect' £60m Bayer Leverkusen star

Arsenal transfer target and Bayer Leverkusen star Edmond Tapsoba

According to famed journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are interested in Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Edmond Tapsoba.

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What's the latest transfer news involving Edmond Tapsoba?

Italian journalist Romano claims that Arsenal are interested in Leverkusen central defender Tapsoba and the Gunners see the 22-year-old as a perfect addition to their side.

Speaking on the Here We Go Podcast, Romano said, "Arsenal also want to sign a centre-back and Tapsoba is really really highly appreciated. They love the player, they think he would be perfect."

How much could Tapsoba cost Arsenal?

According to Romano, Leverkusen are demanding a fee in the region of €60m-€70m (£51.4m-£60m) for Tapsoba which could prove to be a major stumbling block for the Gunners.

The journalist said, "The big problem is the price. He is a fantastic centre-back, but the price is more than €70m, €60m-€70m and at the moment Bayer Leverkusen are not interested in selling the player. They want to keep him."

He added, "You have to pay or the player will stay."

At such a high fee, Arsenal could be better off looking for cheaper alternatives which would allow the Gunners to save money and spend in other areas of the squad.

What were Tapsoba's stats in the Bundesliga this season?

The 6 foot 4 Burkina Faso international was a key figure for the German outfit as his side earned a sixth place finish in the Bundesliga and secured qualification for the Europa League.

According to WhoScored, Tapsoba was Leverkusen's second highest rated player this season with a rating of 6.96 and the website named him man of the match on two occasions.

The 22-year-old made 1.7 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per league game, which was more than any Arsenal defender in the 2020/21 Premier League campaign.

Tapsoba also displayed his ability in possession as he completed 89.7% of passes, more than any player in Arsenal's squad this term. This could be an attractive attribute to Mikel Arteta as playing out from the back is an important aspect of the modern game.

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Do Arsenal need another centre-back? 

Arguably, yes.

It was officially announced last month that David Luiz will leave Arsenal this summer upon the expiry of his contract at the club.

The Brazilian's absence leaves the Gunners with four centre-backs at their disposal which could force the club to sign an extra defender in the transfer window.

Aside from his price, Tapsoba would be an ideal option to bolster Arteta's defensive options. At just 22 years old he has plenty of time to develop, and his stats at Leverkusen suggest that he has a very high ceiling.

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