Arsenal transfer round-up: Gunners considering swoop for Espanyol midfielder

Arsenal are preparing for multiple ins and outs during the next transfer window, regardless of how their pursuit of European football pans out.

And plenty of speculation involving the Gunners has found its way on to sports pages of late, possibly a sign that Mikel Arteta is beginning to focus on the primary targets they need to land if the club is to fare better in 2020/21 than it has this season.

At the other end of the scale, a former Arsenal figure could have a role to play in helping a fringe player find an escape route, if only temporarily.

Arsenal lead Roca chase

Mikel Arteta remains keen on Marc Roca, and reports in Spain suggest Arsenal are better placed than some more illustrious rivals in the race to sign the Espanyol midfielder.

Roca could be available for less than his €40m release clause, thanks to Espanyol’s relegation from La Liga, and Madrid newspaper La Razon (via HITC) notes that he recently hired a more internationally-focused agency.

Arsenal are not the only Premier League club interested in Roca, who Arteta reportedly sees as the ideal man to partner fellow summer target Thomas Partey.

However, according to La Razon, they are in the best position to land their man, despite Everton also being keen on the 23-year-old.

Roca has played 33 times for Espanyol in La Liga this season. The Catalan club are guaranteed to finish bottom of the league after struggling for goals throughout the campaign.

Mislintat ready to pounce

Former Arsenal head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is poised to help new club VfB Stuttgart clinch the loan signing of Gunners defender Konstantinos Mavropanos.

Mavropanos, who was brought to England by Mislintat in January 2018, has spent the second half of the 2020 season on loan at German second tier side Nurnberg, helping them survive relegation by the skin of their teeth.

The 22-year-old centre-back is likely to have his Emirates first-team path blocked next season, thanks to the permanent signing of Pablo Mari and the loan return of William Saliba.

Now, sport-fm.gr via Sport Witness, claims the Greek international has already undergone a medical ahead of a loan switch to the newly-promoted side. Stuttgart clinched an immediate return to the Bundesliga, finishing second behind Arminia Bielefeld.

Stones for Arsenal?

A move to the Emirates could revitalise John Stones’ flagging career, according to pundit and former England midfielder Jamie Redknapp.

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The Manchester City defender has started just 11 league games this season, and only one since the restart, but Redknapp has told the Mail that a change of scenery would suit the England man.

He says: “Stones is still only 26, the same age Van Dijk was when he joined Liverpool. He is young enough to mould, but has only started once in the league under Pep Guardiola since January.

“Arsenal need a centre-back, and Mikel Arteta knows Stones from his City days. That could be a good fit.”

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