Ibrahima Bamba’s agent is in London as Arsenal pursue a transfer for the Vitoria de Guimaraes 20-year-old, according to reports.
Ibrahima Bamba’s agent posted on his Instagram story this week to confirm that he was in London, amid links to Arsenal.
Jornal de Noticias (via Sport Witness) report that Arsenal appear to be leading the race to sign the player, despite interest from several European clubs.
They add that Bamba has a €30m release clause, but it’s not clear how much Arsenal would need to pay to secure his signature.
But the agent has since distanced himself from reports of negotiations with the Gunners.
“It is true that I was in London, but I am just arriving from Germany, where I was watching Tapsoba’s game. Bamba is not the only player I work with,” Filipe Macedo Alves said.
“[Bamba] is a player profile that is clearly of interest to many clubs, but today he is a Vitoria player and is only focused on Monday’s game in Chaves. The market is open, but I’m not going to feed rumours.”
Arsenal have been linked with Bamba for a few months, after the Mirror initially reported that the Gunners were keeping tabs on him.
At the time, reports suggested that Bamba wasn’t expected to leave in January, but a significant bid could tempt Vitoria to do business.
Fabrizio Romano wrote in December that there were Premier League clubs tracking Bamba after a call from Roberto Mancini over an international call-up for Italy, but Romano didn’t reveal which English clubs specifically.
Bamba would give Arsenal an option in a couple of different positions, as he can play both centre-back and defensive midfield.
Initially breaking into Vitoria’s starting lineup as a midfielder, Bamba has since made the transition to their back line over the last few months. But at his age, it doesn’t seem impossible he ends up in either position.
Bamba has made 30 senior appearances for Vitoria, including 21 starts this season alone.