Kevin De Bruyne hands Mikel Arteta 'unbelievable' £30m Arsenal summer transfer plan

Oleksandr Zinchenko of Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, interact after the team's victory in the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal FC at City Ground on January 30, 2024 in Nottingham, England.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne may have spent the last nine months making sure that his side are cemented at the top of English football after securing their fourth successive Premier League title over title challengers Arsenal but that hasn't stopped him from highlighting one star in particular who has impressed him.

The Gunners narrowly missed out on their first top flight trophy in 20 years by just two points despite having won all but two games after the New Year. Those two matches proved to be crucial though, as a 0-0 draw against City meant they couldn't open up a lead in the title race and the 2-0 loss to Unai Emery's Aston Villa meant they fell behind in the race and were ultimately unable to catch up.

However, the good side to the title race failure has meant that the Gunners are a big force in the transfer market this summer and will be able to bolster their squad under Mikel Arteta in order to close that gap to the reigning champions. Arsenal have already been linked with major moves for strikers this pre-season, with Newcastle United's Alexander Isak and Napoli's Victor Osimhen said to be on their radar.

Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot has been touted as a potential target to improve the midfield alongside Martin Zubimendi and Youssouf Fofana, while David Raya's loan move from Brentford is set to be made permanent after he spent last season at the Emirates Stadium.

With Jurrien Timber yet to play more than one half of Premier League football since his arrival at Arsenal last summer though, it's clear that the Gunners also want to shore up their defensive options, especially at full-back which was seen as one of their weaknesses over the 2024/25 campaign after they were forced to play a mixture of names at left-back to cover for the Dutchman's early injury.

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One of those players was Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is said to be one of many stars the Gunners could let go of this summer in an attempt to drum up funds. The Ukrainian international was part of the 26-man squad for the European Championships but failed to navigate his side through to the knockout stages, despite finishing on four points - the first country to ever finish bottom of their group on that tally.

Their 0-0 draw against De Bruyne's Belgium meant that they exited the group, while Romania and Belgium progressed as winners and runners-up, with Slovakia through to the knockout via the third-place slot which will see them matched up against England this weekend.

As De Bruyne and his side prepare for their massive Round of 16 clash with France on Monday night, he highlighted the relationship he has with Zinchenko and admitted that he's been impressed with his performances for the Gunners this season. Speaking at his post-match press conference earlier this week, he said: "I love Zinna [Oleksandr Zinchenko]. Zinna is [an] unbelievable guy.

"I played with him for five years and he’s done an incredible job for us at City and then he went to Arsenal and he’s doing really good. I think he’s one of the leaders of Ukraine, he’s a close friend and I wish him all the best."

Having signed for the Gunners from City back in 2022, it appears as though the defender, who has been valued at around £30m, will be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium despite the high praise from one of the Premier League's best players. With two years still left on his current deal, now could be a good time for Arsenal to find an upgrade on the 27-year-old.