Shopping list

Arsenal ‘add Florian Grillitsch’ to their summer shopping list

Arsenal have once again been linked with long-time transfer target Florian Grillitsch, with the Hoffenheim midfielder set to become a free agent this summer.

The German press has been touting Arsenal’s interest in the player since 2018, and the Gunners could finally be on the verge of action as the 26-year-old comes to the end of his contract at the Rhein-Neckar – Arena.

According to The telegraphArsenal are set to compete with Champions League clubs for the defensive midfielder’s signature, while there is also interest elsewhere in the Premier League.

Everton and Leeds are said to be monitoring his situation and Newcastle have been linked in the past, but there is also likely to be competition between Germany’s top four clubs – who have obviously seen him play regularly up close – and from Spain.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is looking to add quality depth to his midfield ahead of Mohamed Elneny’s contract expiring this summer.

Given he will be available on a free transfer, long-term target Grillitsch is inevitably an attractive proposition. He is currently earning around £35,000 a week with the Bundesliga side which means he will fit well into Arsenal’s wage structure.

The Austria international is also versatile, having played the majority of games this season as a centre-back, and he has Champions League and Europa League experience with Hoffenheim as Arsenal prepare for a return to football European.

Speaking recently on whether Arsenal would be active in the summer transfer window, Arteta said: “I expect that, yes. I think both competitions [the Champions League and Europa League] require a much larger team because the number of games you play is much larger in both of them, so I don’t think [which you qualify for] makes a big difference or changes a lot.

“If you can afford it financially and we don’t have to do the squad turnover that we had to do, if you ask me what I want is 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers. “

The Gunners’ top four prospects are currently on the line after three successive Premier League defeats. It remains to be seen if they can compete for their main transfer targets if they don’t qualify for the Champions League.