Reports have linked Manchester United with a shock swoop for Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi this summer. The Frenchman could leave the Emirates after angering Gunners boss Mikel Arteta with his conduct in recent times. And with Arsenal willing to part with Guendouzi if it means securing a replacement, Express Sport will now take a look at three players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward could offer for the 21-year-old.
United are determined to get rid of Jesse Lingard this summer, with the midfielder struggling under Solskjaer this season.
And Arsenal could be a feasible next destination for the 27-year-old.
It emerged a couple of months ago that Arsenal’s rapport with United could see them take Lingard off their hands, particularly with Dani Ceballos heading back to Real Madrid.
Many Gunners fans would hate the idea of signing a player who has openly mocked them on their own turf in the past.
But a new challenge in north London could be the key to the England international rediscovering his best form.
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Arsenal have been linked with Chris Smalling, too.
And while some fans may despair, the England international is easily an upgrade on Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz.
Smalling would offer Arsenal experience and quality at the back. Even some staff at United think he was unlucky to be loaned out to Roma a year ago.
He’s impressed in Italy and Roma would love to sign him on a permanent basis.
But with United wanting close to £25million to part with the veteran, they could be tempted to use him as bait for Guendouzi instead.
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It would be sensational.
But, should Arsenal lose Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette this summer, they’ll need an attacker.
And a return to the Emirates, where Alexis Sanchez experienced the best years of his career, would suit both parties.
Sure, he’s declined at United. But there’s a sense that, should he stay fit and be given minutes, he can rediscover the magic of old.
Arsenal would have to convince Sanchez into taking a pay cut but, with United wanting him gone, he’s another who may be potentially used as bait.
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Why United could go after Guendouzi
Since Solskjaer took charge, United have tried to sign the best young talent around.
They’ve not always been successful – they missed out on Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham is set to join Borussia Dortmund – but that’s the profile of players they’re going for.
Therefore, Guendouzi would tick the boxes for United.
They also have a good relationship with Arsenal having struck deals involving Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie in the last decade.
And with United set to embark on a squad culling of their own, they could use that to their advantage.
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