Just one day after the Portuguese media initially said Arsenal were preparing to pay Diogo Leite’s release clause, reports now suggest the Gunners will miss out on the centre-back.
We originally reported the claims in Wednesday’s O Jogo, that Arsenal were willing to pay the defender’s €15m release clause. However, now The Guardian claim Liverpool are in ‘pole position’ to sign the player instead.
Leite hasn’t made his senior debut for Porto just yet, but he’s up to 33 appearances for Porto B in the Ledman Liga Pro and UEFA Youth League this season. Plus he played a key part of their winning run to the Premier League International Cup trophy.
Arsenal got a first-hand view of the player in the final of that competition, as it took place at the Emirates Stadium against their u23 team.
The clean sheet Porto kept can’t have done Liete’s reputation any harm. Although, in fairness, it was a weakened Arsenal side. Earlier in the season, with the likes of Reiss Nelson in the line-up, the academy team won 1-0 against the same opposition.
If the club do end up missing out, there are a number of alternatives they can turn to:
Sven Mislintat wants Arsenal to sign a centre-back as one of four positions he’s looking to strengthen this summer according to reports, but who are the available options?
by Dan Critchlow
We recently covered reports of the four areas Arsenal’s new head of recruitment wants to strengthen over the summer, which you can check out here.
One of these areas was in the back line, as the club look to replace and reinforce a group that are mostly ageing, injury prone, retiring or inexperienced.
So who could the club look to target this summer? Here are 7 centre-backs Sven Mislintat could recommend Arsenal sign this summer…