Arsenal are planning to overhaul their midfield but have rejected a recommendation to sign Tottenham-bound midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from one of their many departing scouts, the latest reports say.
Mikel Arteta is keen to sign significant reinforcements to strengthen his midfield this summer, having long targeted La Liga giants Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey in a £45 million deal.
However, the Gunners’ recruitment drive has been overshadowed somewhat by the decision to make 55 staff members redundant, many of whom work in the scouting area – notably Francis Cagigao, who unearthed Hector Bellerin and Cesc Fabregas.
Arsenal senior figures Raul Sanllehi and Edu favour a more contact-led approach to transfers and have been aiming to streamline the club’s enormous scouting network for some time.
Another high-profile casualty is the United Kingdom scout Peter Clark, who, according to a recent report by The Athletic, had proposed an alternative to Thomas in the shape of Southampton star Hojbjerg.
Peter was very keen to sign the Denmark international, who skippered Southampton prior to making it clear he wanted a transfer this transfer window, but the club’s hierarchy ignored his recommendation.
Instead, Pierre-Emile underwent a medical with north London rivals Spurs on Monday ahead of sealing a transfer worth around £15 million – a third of the price of Partey.
In a separate deal, Tottenham Hotspur are also selling Kyle Walker-Peters to Southampton for £12 million, meaning Tottenham have only had to fork out £3 million to land their top midfield target.