Arsenal ‘eye two-for-one swap deal’ with Inter Milan amid Declan Rice concerns

Concerns have been raised over Declan Rice’s suitability to Arsenal, despite Mikel Arteta spending a club record fee to bring the England international to the Emirates Stadium

Arsenal are reportedly ready to offer Takehiro Tomiyasu and Folarin Balogun to Inter Milan in exchange for Italy star Nicolo Barella.

The Gunners have already spent heavily this summer, bringing in Kai Havertz, Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber, with David Raya on the way. But boss Mikel Arteta is keen to further boost his squad ahead of an expected Premier League title challenge this season.

Though he has already brought Rice in for a club-record fee, his performance in the Community Shield appears to have convinced Arteta that his midfield remains weaker than needed. That has drawn him to Barella, who won Euro 2020 with Italy and the Serie A title with Inter in 2021.

According to Calciomercato, Arteta is willing to allow Balogun and Tomiyasu to move to the San Siro to convince Inter to let Barella go the other way. The Italian’s performances for Inter are said to have ‘awakened the appetite’ of the Gunners.

Their interest in Barella is described as being ‘concrete and serious’, with Arteta eyeing him as the natural replacement for Thomas Partey. The Ghanaian has been heavily linked with an exit from the Emirates Stadium this summer.

Though he remains at the Gunners, Arteta still believes a player needs to be brought in to challenge him for his starting spot. And the Gunners boss is willing to push the boat out to secure his top target.

That includes offering Balogun and Tomiyasu as part of a two-for-one swap deal, with both players of interest to Inter. Balogun has little chance of being anything more than a bit-part player this season despite Gabriel Jesus’ injury.

Tomiyasu meanwhile has been pushed further down the pecking order following Timber’s arrival this summer. Such an exchange could be enough to convince Inter to sanction Barella’s exit, though they are hopeful of bringing in a fee as well.

There are concerns that boss Simone Inzaghi could block the potential swap though, with the Italian preferring a move for Atletico Madrid star Alvaro Morata. The news of a swap deal being lined up for Barella comes after Roy Keane launched a scathing attack on Rice and the fee Arsenal paid for him.

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