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Arsenal must battle Manchester United for bargain £8.5m transfer to replace Cedric Soares – Bailey Keogh

Arsenal have reportedly been quoted a bargain price for the ideal Cedric Soares replacement ahead of next season but Edu will have to battle with Manchester United to secure the player’s signature.

German news outlet BILD via The Express claimed that RB Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele will leave the club this summer as his contract is set to expire in 2023 with no indication that he will renew. He will reportedly be available for £8.5m, with the Express reporting that Manchester United may be keeping tabs on him.

The Gunners need better defensive quality in the full-back areas, which Mukiele will be able to offer. His versatility also means that he can play across the defence, which will be a major benefit for Arsenal.

READ MORE : Sadio Mane’s transfer decision may prove crucial in Edu’s Arsenal pursuit of World Cup winner

Mukiele has played at both centre-back and at right-back throughout his career and has excelled in both positions. The Gunners could also require a central defensive signing at the end of the season, meaning Mukiele’s versatility would allow him to cover both areas of the pitch.

Despite the excellent acquisition of Tomiyasu from Bologna in a bargain £19.8m deal, Arteta’s side still requires another right-back in the squad. Due to the sale of Calum Chambers, it means that Tomiyasu has been left with little competition for his spot, with the Japan international showing himself to be prone to injury problems in his debut campaign at the Emirates.

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Cedric Soares has been utilized as Tomiyasu’s back-up this campaign, but his performances have shown that he is not at the level that is required for Arsenal to be competing for a regular place in the Champions League. The Portugal international needs to be replaced by a more reliable and younger full-back.

Mukiele fits this profile and would be an excellent acquisition, which is why Arsenal were understood to hold an interest in signing the RB Leipzig defender during the January transfer window – according to a report from The Athletic – and may be tempted to make an approach for him again in the close-season. The fact that he has also played in the Champions League should provide another incentive to sign him, as this is the type of player that Edu should be targeting if Arsenal wants to return to the elite competition.

Arsenal are currently extremely short in the centre-back positions, as Arteta only has three options. If Rob Holding departs at the end of the season, it would make sense for Edu to bring in an additional defender alongside William Saliba, assuming his future remains at the club once his season-long loan ends at Marseille. Mukiele’s versatility makes him the ideal acquisition for this situation.

A transfer fee of £8.5m is a steal that Edu should look to explore. Arteta would then be able to strengthen in other areas of the pitch such as the midfield and forward positions, which need urgently addressing.

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