According to Daily Mail via TalkSPORT, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants to shun a summer move for Declan Rice of West Ham and Moises Caicedo of Brighton and push to sign Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount instead.
Rice is valued at around £100million by West Ham while Brighton rejected a £70million bid for Caicedo in January.
The report adds: “Arteta feels it would be wiser to spread that money across the signing of a few more players to add cover to his squad – which they will need next season back in the Champions League and if they want to challenge for the league again.
“Therefore, Arsenal have entered the race for Mount, who is seen as a more affordable option given his contract situation at Chelsea.
“The England midfielder’s long-term future at Stamford Bridge is in doubt with the 24-year-old yet to agree a new deal with his boyhood club.
“Mount will enter the final 12 months of his current contract in June and he has reportedly turned down a £200,000-a-week offer from Chelsea, because he feels deserving of a deal closer to Raheem Sterling’s £300,000-a-week deal he signed with the London club last summer.
“With negotiations said to be at a halt, Liverpool and Manchester United are said to be interested in taking advantage, and now Arsenal have joined the chase.
“Sealing a cut-price deal for Mount would allow Arteta to put the rest of his summer war chest to good use in other areas, particularly in defence having seen their title bid take a nosedive following the injury to centre-back William Saliba.”