Agent gives verdict on ‘imminent’ £26m Arsenal transfer as Gunners return for target despite ‘rejection’

Arsenal-linked Bamba Credit: Alamy
Arsenal-linked Bamba Credit: Alamy

The agent of Ibrahima Bamba has discussed reports linking the Vitoria Guimaraes defender with a move this month to Premier League leaders Arsenal.

The Gunners have been busy in the transfer market this month. They have been keen to bolster their squad to boost their hopes of winning the Premier League.

Mikel Arteta has already made two signings with Leandro Trossard and Jakubb Kiwior joining the club for a combined fee of around £48m.

Arsenal are also being linked with Rayo Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda amid reports that Cedric Soares is set to sign for Fulham on loan.

Earlier this week, it was claimed that Bamba is also likely to sign for Arsenal. The 20-year-old made his senior debut for Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes at the start of 2022 and he has already played 30 times for his boyhood club.

Most of his appearances at senior level have come as a centre-back but he is also capable of playing as a defensive midfielder.

Reports have indicated that Bamba’s move to Arsenal is ‘imminent’ after his agent was spotted in London. He has a £26m release clause in his contract and the Premier League are ‘on the front line’ to recruit him.

Bamba’s agent –  Filipe Macedo Alves – has denied that he was in London to talk with Arsenal but he confirms that the “market is open” for his player.

“It’s true that I was in London, but I am just arriving from Germany, where I was watching Tapsoba’s game. Bamba is not the only player I work with,” Alves told O Jogo (via Sport Witness).

“He’s a player profile that is clearly of interest to many clubs, but today he is a Vitória player and is only focused on Monday’s game in Chaves. The market is open, but I’m not going to feed rumours.”

So Arsenal may not be signing Bamba, but they remain in the market for a new centre-midfielder.

Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka have both been in great form this season but they are short on options in that area with Mohamed Elneny now injured.

The Gunners were linked with Douglas Luiz and Youri Tielemans in the summer, while Declan Rice is being discussed as a potential summer target.

But Arsenal may opt to sign a midfielder this month and Martin Zubimendi is one player they are being linked with.

Last week, it was claimed that the Real Sociedad star has ‘rejected’ a move to the Emirates as he is ‘committed’ to the La Liga side.

Now The Times are reporting that Arsenal have been ‘told’ that ‘they will have to pay Zubimendi’s €60 million (about £52.8 million) release clause if they want to sign the midfielder this month’.

The Spanish outfit are ‘aware’ of Arsenal’s interest but they are ‘confident’ that their prized asset will remain at the club until the summer.

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