As another Premier League season draws to a close, speculation linking Arsenal with a number of Europe’s hottest prospects is on the rise.
The Gunners face Aston Villa on Sunday in a clash that could see them finish anywhere from second to fifth depending on the results around them, with Champions League football vital to their hopes of luring the very best this summer.
And two names that have been frequently linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium are Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante.
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The Leicester City duo have enjoyed phenomenal campaigns and played huge roles in steering the club to Premier League success.
Interest in the pair is now widespread, and it seems Arsenal have stolen a march on their rivals in the race to sign them.
According to France Football, per the Independent, the north Londoners are in talks with Leicester to sign both Mahrez and Kante in a deal worth £60 million.
Manager Arsene Wenger has previously revealed that summer transfer plans have begun following another failed title bid, and it seems he’s willing to break the bank for two of European football’s latest stars.
Reports suggest Mahrez will cost somewhere in the region of £40 million whilst teammate Kante is worth half that amount, owing to his rumoured buy-out clause.
And luring the pair to the capital is precisely the business Wenger needs to appease Arsenal’s disgruntled fans and improve certain areas of the squad.
Mahrez, for example, would be a significant upgrade on the much-maligned Theo Walcott and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, whilst Kante is widely regarded a superior defensive midfielder to Francis Coquelin.
The former Leicester ace has been particularly remarkable on the goalscoring front, finding the back of the net 17 times in the Premier League and assisting 11 others.
The thought of Mahrez alongside Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez is a mouth-watering one.
It seems Arsenal will have the money to sanction such a deal too given the aforementioned Walcott is a £25 million target for West Ham.
The Sun reports that David Sullivan’s Hammers are closing in on a deal for the England international, with the club’s owner recently hinting at the move: “We are going to make a £20m or £25m bid for a player in England this week.
“So whatever happens, we’ll bring a top striker in.”
A new centre forward could also be on the horizon for Arsenal, with the Mirror suggesting Robert Lewandowski is a £50 million target. Much will depend upon whether he decides to leave Bayern Munich, though.
One way or another, Wenger is linked with exactly the players needed to win the Premier League - whether he is able to sign them is an entirely different matter.