Arsenal’s edge in Bissouma race emerges as Gunners ‘plot £60m transfer plan’

It’s the time of the season when transfer speculation begins to gather pace as club chiefs finalise their plans ahead of the window opening.

In Arsenal’s case, a clear-out is on the cards after a torrid season which has exposed the lack of quality in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

The Gunners boss is expected to be backed by owner Stan Kroenke, but he knows he must make room for new recruits by moving on a number of underperforming first-team players.

Arteta is believed to have settled on which players he will transfer list, while he reportedly hopes to strike a deal for Brighton’s talented holding midfielder, Yves Bissouma.

The Seagulls star has also caught the eyes of some of Arsenal’s Premier League rivals, but the north London club may have the edge over the chasing pack.

All that and more in Thursday’s Arsenal transfer round-up.

Arsenal’s edge in Bissouma race

Bissouma has established himself as one of the finest holding midfielders in the league

Although Arsenal are believed to be facing bitter competition for Yves Bissouma’s signature, they may have an edge over their rival suitors.

Manchester United and Liverpool have also been credited with interest in the Brighton midfielder, but claims Bissouma is in regular contact with Gunners stars Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel, whom he played alongside for Lille.

It is also noted that the Mali international is an Arsenal fan and shares the same agent as Pepe, while Emirates chiefs remain as determined as ever to bring him to north London as a long-term partner for Thomas Partey.

Would Arsenal flourish with a midfield pairing of Bissouma and Partey? Have your say in the comments.

Second Lyon star targeted

Andersen has impressed since joining Fulham on loan last October
Andersen has impressed since joining Fulham on loan last October

Arsenal are reportedly targeting Lyon ace Moussa Dembele as they search for a successor to Alexandre Lacazette, who has one year remaining on his contract.

But the Gunners are also keen on another of the Ligue 1 club’s players, namely Joachim Andersen, who has spent the season on loan at Fulham.

Despite the Cottagers’ dismal season, Andersen has been solid at the back and he has caught the eyes of north London duo Arsenal and Tottenham.

That’s according to the Daily Telegraph , which claims Emirates chiefs will swoop for the £20million-rated Dane if David Luiz departs this summer.

Gunners’ £60m plan

Bellerin and Maitland-Niles are among those who could leave this summer
Bellerin and Maitland-Niles are among those who could leave this summer

Speaking of potential departures, Arsenal are hoping to raise over £60million with a mass clear-out this summer, according to .

Mikel Arteta showed his ruthless streak in the January window by offloading the likes of Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi, and more of the same is expected once the season finishes.

The report claims goalkeeper Bernd Leno, defenders Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac, and midfielders Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have been transfer listed.

Elsewhere, Stuttgart would like to extend the loan deal of Konstantinos Mavropanos, with the Bundesliga club keen to include an option to buy the centre-back.

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