Arsenal are stepping up their interest in free agent Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand ahead of the summer transfer window.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton celebrates with Ryan Bertrand of Southampton following their side's victory after The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton celebrates with Ryan Bertrand of Southampton following their side’s victory after The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Daily Mail report that talks between Arsenal and Ryan Bertrand’s camp have intensified in the last few days, as he prepares to leave Southampton on a free transfer.

Previous reports suggested AC Milan, AS Monaco, and Manchester City were also interested in the player. Arsenal have had a bit of a boost on that front, with TheAFCBell reporting that a source in the player’s camp says he’d prefer to remain in the Premier League.

As a result, Manchester City are Arsenal’s primary competition, and that’s supported by the Mail’s article claiming City want Bertrand amid doubts about Benjamin Mendy’s future.

Arsenal have reportedly been monitoring Bertrand’s situation since January, and his camp are hoping for a decision over his future in a few weeks.

Arsenal would obviously like to use Bertrand as a backup to Kieran Tierney. Goal claimed they tried to bring the left-back in for exactly that purpose in January, but Southampton rejected Arsenal’s bid in the hope they could tie the player to a new deal.

With that possibility now off the table, it’s up to Bertrand himself whether or not he wants to join Arsenal.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.