Arsenal are eyeing a move for AC Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer in the summer transfer window, according to Football Transfers.
The North Londoners have been linked with several midfielders including Declan Rice, Moises Caicedo, and Martin Zubimendi who is reportedly close to joining the Gunners at the end of the season after Barcelona pulled out of the race for his signature.
However, Bennacer has emerged as a potential transfer target and is seen as an alternative if the club fails to seal a deal for Caicedo or Rice in the summer.
The online news portal claims Bennacer, who recently signed a new deal with the Rossoneri, has a release clause in the region of £44m (€50m) and is active until 2024, meaning the Gunners can trigger it at the end of the season.
Bennacer is a former Arsenal player and was at the club from 2015 to 2017. He made only one appearance for the Gunners before he was sold to Serie A side Empoli in 2017. His impressive performances saw him earn a move to AC Milan, where he has emerged as one of the best midfielders in Italy.
The 25-year-old played a key role for Milan as they clinched the Serie A title last season, racking up 40 appearances and making three goal contributions across all competitions.
According to Football Transfers, Arenal will have to battle Manchester City for Bennacer’s signature in the summer as the Premier League leaders look to bolster their midfield options.
Pep Guardiola’s side are in the market for at least one midfielder following reports that Ikay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, and Kalvin Phillips could leave the club at the end of the season.
After missing out on Jude Bellingham, who is Real Madrid bound, the club has shifted attention to other transfer targets and it is reported that Guardiola is also a big admirer of Bennacer and has previously contacted the player directly about a move to the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal will need to act fast to get their former player in the summer. The Algeria international has featured in 39 games, scored three goals, and provided two assists as Milan lie 5th in the league table with 61 points, just two points behind fourth-placed Inter Milan.
Bennacer has helped Milan to reach this season’s Champions League semi-finals where they face city-rivals Inter in a two-legged tie with the winner advancing to the finals.