Arsenal eye double transfer led by Mikel Arteta but face £150m January obstacle

Arteta impressed by Rice in Arsenal's defence at PSV

Arsenal are reportedly considering moves for Sporting Lisbon duo Viktor Gyokeres and Ousmane Diomande, though face a significant obstacle in bringing both to the Emirates in January. The Gunners are looking to strengthen several areas as Mikel Arteta attempts to pip Liverpool and Manchester City to the Premier League title, turning their attention to Portugal.

Newspaper O Jogo claim that Arsenal have been following Gyokeres and Diomande at Sporting, with centre-back Diomande especially of interest to Arteta. The Spanish boss specifically wants the 20-year-old Ivorian, who the north London club have been tracking since he was a teenager at Danish club Midtjylland.

While Gyokeres has been high on Arsenal’s shortlist for a new striker, which also reportedly consists of Ivan Toney and Victor Osimhen, but if the Gunners do wish to sign both in January in order to help them compete in the second half of the season – they will not come cheap.

Sporting are not willing to part ways with their star duo until the summer, but both Diomande and Gyokeres do have release clauses in their contracts that would leave the Portuguese club powerless if Arsenal were to trigger them.

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However, Sporting have sought to protect themselves and if Arsenal did wish to pay the release clauses of both players then it would cost a combined £154million. Gyokeres would cost £85m and Diomande £69m, fees that the Gunners are unlikely to be prepared to pay in January.

Arsenal could try to negotiate deals for the pair at a lower fee, but in that case they would be forced to wait until the summer. With several pundits insisting that a marquee striker especially could get Arteta’s side over the line in the battle for the title, waiting another few months could prove costly.

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Sporting boss Ruben Amorim reiterated his side’s stance on Gyokeres recently. “I can’t guarantee anything,” he said. “What I can say is what they tell me and that is that any player only leaves through the clause. It’s the only security that clubs in Portugal have.

“Our idea is not to sell anyone in January, because we have a full calendar and we need all the players available. I’m calm about that. At this moment we are only selling due to the clause, it is a different security than last year, when [Pedro] Porro left in January [to Tottenham] when he was very important in our dynamics.”

Whether Arsenal are prepared to stump up the cash to land two of their targets in January remains to be seen, especially as there is the possibility of signing them for a cheaper price the following summer.

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