Arsenal eyeing £26.5m Ibrahima Bamba transfer after asking Guimaraes

Arsenal are looking at transfer options to sign in January and summer but will need to battle Atalanta and Spain’s Villarreal to buy midfielder Ibrahima Bamba.

Arsenal are eyeing Vitória Guimarães midfielder Ibrahima Bamba.

The 20-year-old has a growing list of admirers after breaking into the Portuguese league, with Italy’s Atalanta and Spaniards Villarreal making waves.

But Guimarães has been told that the Gunners are also keeping an eye on Bamba’s development and that they want to be kept abreast of any developments should they decide to let him go.

Bamba is valued at around £26.5m and has been scouted by Premier League club scouts. The player is not expected to leave in January, although a big offer from one of his suitors could tempt his side to do business.

Bamba, who joined Guimarães in 2020, was born in Italy of Ivorian descent and in May of this year he was called up to train with a large group of players by Italy coach Roberto Mancini.

Meanwhile, Eddie Nketiah is targeting next season to fulfill his “dream” of playing in the Champions League. The Gunners are at the top of the Premier League ahead of the penultimate round before the World Cup, but face a difficult trip to Chelsea at lunch on Sunday.

Nketiah, 23, started at Chelsea’s academy before being released and then signed by Arsenal, where he signed a new contract last summer, reportedly earning around £100,000 a week.

Undoubtedly, his fine goal end last season went a long way towards securing those terms, as did the number 14 shirt previously worn by Thierry Henry, as he has scored five goals in his last seven Premier League games – including two in four. -2 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Nketiah has yet to hit the league mark this year, but victory in west London would put Arsenal 13 points clear of Chelsea as they are aiming at at least a return to Champions League football.

Arsenal haven’t played in Europe’s elite club competition since the 2016/17 season, and with Nketiah not making his senior debut until the following season, he’s looking for a big break.

“That would be a dream come true for me,” he told arsenal.com when asked about his ambitions to play in the Champions League.

“Especially if I could do that at my childhood club. Obviously what happened at the end of last season when we lost the top four hurt a lot, but we have to use that to our advantage this year to kick-start how we broke up last year and i think that will only make us stronger.

“I hope we can use that to get back into the Champions League next season because that’s where we all want to be… it’s been a long time.”

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