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Mikel Arteta learns Nico Williams transfer deadline as Man Utd 'hijack' £18m Arsenal deal

Arsenal will be watching the European Championship final with interest for more than one reason.

William Saliba will not be in Berlin after France lost to Spain despite taking an early lead in the semi-final. But permanent summer signing David Raya could return to the club with a Euro 2024 winner's medal around his neck.

The backup goalkeeper will not play unless anything happens to first-choice Unai Simon. However, one player who will almost certainly be on the pitch and playing a part in any Spanish success on Sunday is winger Nico Williams, who has starred throughout this summer's tournament.

Arteta's preference

Nico Williams is said to be the wide player Mikel Arteta would prefer to sign if the club add in that area this summer. Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are all linked with the winger, but Barcelona are said to be the player's preference.

It is far from a foregone conclusion that the player swaps the Basque Country for Catalunya, though. While it is true that SPORT reports Williams is ignoring interest from elsewhere, he wants his future sorted within the first week of August rather than waiting for a move and has set that soft deadline of his own.

football.london says: Arteta wanting Williams makes sense, and the club should remain ready to swoop in should Barcelona delay doing a deal. The player's £47million release clause should be affordable this summer, and being able to offer Champions League football should position them ahead of Chelsea at least.

Having a Spanish-speaking manager who seemingly wants the winger would also give the Gunners an edge over Liverpool to be the first team to hijack any deal if Barcelona drop the ball. Not necessarily needing a winger should also allow Arsenal to position themselves to be opportunistic should such a situation arise.

United rival Arsenal

Manchester United reportedly are set to rival Arsenal in their pursuit of long-time target Ferdi Kadioglu. The Turkey international is said to have been the subject of bids from the Gunners and Borussia Dortmund last month. But the player had been until recently focused on the Euros.

United making it a three-way tussle for the Fenerbache full-back could reignite the race. It has previously been said that the player's preference is the Premier League, seemingly giving Arsenal and their rivals the edge. But it is unclear whether United will outbid the Gunners' reported £18million opening offer.

football.london: Kadioglu is impressively versatile and should be a strong signing for a sensible price should such a deal be done. Primarily a left-back, the expected signing of Riccardo Calafiori should now hinder any move, as the player has also appeared over a dozen times in seven different positions.

It is easier to list the areas he has not taken up - which are centre-back and centre-forward. So while, there is no chance of Kadioglu being the sought-after striker, at 24, he could become a crucial utility player that allows Arteta to keep a smaller squad and still compete.