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Arsenal can finally rectify five-year Dani Olmo mistake with record-breaking £50m dream transfer

Dani Olmo of Spain celebrates after the first goal for his team during the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-final match between Spain v France at Munich Football Arena on July 09, 2024 in Munich, Germany.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Christina Pahnke - sampics/Getty Images)


Arsenal may have made just the one signing so far as we near the one month mark of this summer's transfer window, but they have the potential to come out the other side as the real victors of it all.

Last summer's additions of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz have already proven fruitful investments based on their top performances from last season and now they might actually get to see Jurrien Timber get some well-deserved minutes following a brutal knee injury on the opening day.

Goalkeeper David Raya's permanent arrival this summer following his loan spell in the previous campaign has been their only move so far, but having been linked with so many top names, it's hard to imagine that manager Mikel Arteta won't secure at least some of his priority targets over the coming weeks.

Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori's £42million arrival is yet to be confirmed but the 22-year-old has agreed personal terms with the Gunners leading to many assuming that he'll become the club's second piece of business this summer. It'll be another solid investment from the club's recruitment team, with eight of the starting XI on the final day of last season having come through business under Arteta.

Other names linked with Arsenal have been Spain international Nico Williams, while strikers Victor Osimhen and Viktor Gyokeres have also been said to be of interest to the north London outfit. However, a former target has recently cropped back up on their radar in the form of RB Leipzig midfielder Dani Olmo.

The 26-year-old has been tearing up the 2024 European Championships with Spain out in Germany, and has been a key proponent in helping his country reaching the final after their 2-1 win over France last night. The attacking midfielder produced a brilliant piece of skill to get past Aurelien Tchouameni before striking it towards goal, with Joules Kounde getting the last touch sending it over the line past his own goalkeeper - although the goal was eventually awarded to Olmo.

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The effort meant Olmo currently sits level with four other stars on three goals in the race for the tournament's Golden Boot, but given he has also provided two assists, he leads the standings. He's also led the Spain squad to Euros history, having been the first team to win all of their first six games of the tournament and would be the first team to ever win a European Championships by winning every game if they beat either England or the Netherlands in the final on Sunday.

Now the star has been touted for a move to north London in a bid to help provide depth for club captain Martin Odegaard, whose similar playstyle to Olmo has already been pointed out by many supporters.

Olmo's ability to play a myriad of positions across midfield and going forward lends him much credibility in the eyes of many in the footballing world, and his €60million (£50.7million) release clause in his contract means there's a clear pathway for any club eyeing him up after this summer's tournament is over. However, they'll have to be quick as it expires on Monday July 15, the day after the final of Euro 2024.

The Gunners could've already signed the star five years ago when they were targeting a then-21-year-old Olmo who still played for Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb. According to Spanish journalist Alberto Pereiro, Dinamo Zagreb were asking for €40million (£33million) for Olmo back in 2019, and Arsenal were interested, but they ended up signing Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on a season-long loan move instead.

It's brutal when you look back and realise that Olmo was clearly the better option, and hindsight is always 20/20, with the Gunners obviously unable to know the struggles Ceballos would have in the two seasons he spent on loan at Arsenal in the Premier League. However, they may not have even been able to get the deal over the line in the first place with former Dinamo Zagreb sporting director Zoran Mamic revealing back in 2020 that Olmo never even considered moving to England.

"It's hard to say now. We could have done more [to keep him], for sure, but it wasn't just our decision. We could have told Dani that we did not agree to go to Leipzig, that we had not agreed, but that would not be fair to him.

"We didn't do the problem, although there were bigger deals. Although this is by far the biggest deal, the bonuses are realistic, plus 20% of future transfers. Dani did not want to go to Italy and England, he insisted on Leipzig, if we had had a day or two, he would probably be in Bayern [Munich]. But Dani said he wanted to [join] Leipzig - he was very keen on the option and [we] should respect it."

Whether Olmo still holds similar feelings towards moving to the Premier League is unclear but there has been interest in him from his former side Barcelona, meaning the Gunners won't be alone in securing what would no doubt be a dream signing after Olmo's performances this season.