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Arsenal face European fight to sign Croatian full-back

| 26.04.2016

Arsenal have been linked with Sassuolo’s Sime Vrsaljko for most of the season, but it appears the Gunners will have to ward off interest from a Serie A giant if they want to get their man.

Juventus are also reportedly in the hunt for the 24-year-old, who can play in either full-back position, potentially providing Arsene Wenger extra quality behind Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin.

Fellow European kingpins Barcelona, Bayern Munich and PSG are also believed to be keeping tabs on the Croatian, who began his career with Dynamo Zagreb.

Vrsaljko joined Genoa in 2013 after four years with his native Zagreb, and quickly established himself in the Italian game.

Just one season of impressive performances saw Serie A underdogs Sassuolo come calling in 2014, and he’s gone from strength to strength ever since.

With Sassuolo defying expectation to sit seventh in Italy’s top tier this term, plenty of their players have been receiving increasing attention from some of Europe’s biggest teams.

Vrsaljko is very much one of them and it’s been alleged this week that Arsene Wenger will offer the full-back guaranteed first-team football in a bid to win his signature.

Valued at £6.75m by transfermarkt.co.uk, the defender’s contract with Sassuolo runs until 2019, so his club are under no major obligation to sell anytime soon.

With Bellerin becoming one of Arsenal’s standout performers this term, that would lead to some uncertainty over the future of Monreal, despite the Spaniard signing a new deal earlier this year.

What it does do is increase the likelihood that Kieran Gibbs’ time at the Emirates is coming to an end, with the left-back failing to land a first-team spot this term.

Still looking to secure a top-four spot after three draws from four games, the Gunners can pick up a much-needed three points when Norwich visit north London on Saturday evening.

Arsenal are 1/4 to beat the relegation-threatened Canaries, with the visitors 11/1 to heap more gloom on Wenger and co.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.