Arsenal transfer: Arteta ready to replace ‘awful’ starter with £26m ‘steal’ from Barcelona

Arsenal have resurfaced their interest in Joao Cancelo according to reports as Mikel Arteta could consider replacing one of his own signings.

The Gunners slipped to a disappointing defeat against West Ham in midweek which highlighted some of the weaknesses within Arteta’s side.

Despite having the vast majority of possession and having a total of 30 shots, Arsenal couldn’t find a way to break the Hammers down.

They were also pretty lacklustre at the opposite end of the pitch as Oleksandr Zinchenko in particular was singled out for criticism.

Jay Bothroyd described the full-back as ‘awful’ against West Ham as the 27-year-old struggled to make an impact in the game.

“I think he’s a top player but he was awful,” Bothroyd told Sky Sports News. “He was defending poorly, didn’t create anything [and] didn’t get on the ball.”

Caught Offside, Arsenal are keeping tabs on Cancelo and the developing situation with Barcelona.

The 29-year-old is currently on loan in Spain and while Barcelona are keen to sign him on a permanent basis, the financial situation at the club leaves them in a tricky situation.

If Barcelona aren’t able to meet Manchester City’s asking price next summer, Arsenal could have the chance to ‘steal’ Cancelo from under their nose.

Pep Guardiola doesn’t seem to be keen on keeping Cancelo around once his loan spell with Barcelona is up and City are likely to sell to the highest bidder in the summer.

The report claims that Man City will be happy to offload the full-back for a fee in excess of £26m which seems to be a reasonable price.

On the whole, the Portuguese star has impressed while playing in La Liga. He has started in the majority of matches and has five goal contributions across all competitions.

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