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Brozovic’s display against Italy could tempt Arsenal into deal

| 18.11.2014

Arsenal’s search for midfield reinforcements has led them to Croatia after Arsene Wenger’s scouts watched Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Marcelo Brozovic.

The 22-year-old has been on the Gunners’ radar for some months and the club are now weighing up whether to make a bid for the deep-lying playmaker after keeping tabs on his performance in his country’s Euro 2016 qualifying draw against Italy.

The Croatian international’s agent has already revealed talks were planned with the north London club this month ahead of a potential move and with Arsenal’s squad weakened by injuries, Wenger could be ready to make his move.

The Frenchman would have been delighted with what he saw with Brozovic showing plenty of discipline in protecting the Croatian back four against the attacking prowess of the Italians.

One of the main criticisms thrown at Arsenal in recent years has been the failure to buy a defensive midfielder who can sit in front of the defence and act as a defensive shield.

And with Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby both struggling with injuries and Matheiu Flamini struggling for form Wenger is looking to strengthen his midfield options.

Sami Khedira, Christoph Kramer, William Carvalho and Morgan Schneiderlin have all been linked with a move to the Emirates but at £5m, Brozovic, who has made seven appearances for his country, could prove to be a cheaper, and younger, alternative.

The former Lokomotiva midfielder also has European experience after featuring in the Europa League for his club and Arsenal could face competition from AC Milan and a host of German clubs for his signature.

Arsenal are 12 points behind Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title and at 40/1 their hopes of lifting a first league trophy since 2004 look to be over.

But the race for the top four is well and truly on with six teams at the top separated by just five points and any potential deal for Brozovic will boost the Gunners, who are 1/2 to qualify for the Champions League, and their European ambitions.

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Oliver Yew