The Gunners are closing in on personal terms with the Ukraine international, who will now become Arsenal’s fifth summer signing and their second from City following the £45m arrival of Gabriel Jesus.
Arsenal’s move for Zinchenko comes after they saw rejected bids for Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez, who will now join Manchester United. Given that the Gunners will pay way less for a player that ticks many boxes and has Premier League experience, it’s safe to say missing out on the Ajax man was a blessing in disguise.
On the path of Manchester City, Zinchenko’s departure will accelerate the club’s push for Brighton defender Marc Cucurella.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s pre-season fixture with Everton, Mikel Arteta categorically stated that the club are looking to improve in any way possible.
“We’re still hoping to improve the team and make a few more changes”, the Arsenal boss said.
Zinchenko has been reluctant to leave Manchester City but is now willing to take the bold step and opt for a new challenge at the Emirates.
Making the switch to Arsenal, the 25-year-old will be eager for a more sustained game time, after making just 15 appearances last term for City.
The Gunners were initially linked with an interest in Zinchenko back in May but it seemed to die down at some point. Sources say City value the player at £35m and Arsenal are ready to match that figure, with a possible announcement set to be concluded early this week.
Arteta is keen to bring in Zinchenko, given he is capable of playing at both left back and in midfield. His versatility will surely come in handy, in a season that could be gruesome with Arsenal back in Europe.
Zinchenko will provide additional versatility for Mikel Arteta as Arsenal hunt for a return to the Champions League, having narrowly missed out to Tottenham last season.
Speaking from the club’s pre-season base in Baltimore, Arteta has given all the Arsenal players a clean slate, stating that they all have equal chances to impress ahead of the new campaign.
“The message is: this is a different season and everybody has a clean start”, he said on Saturday.
“Show us what you can do on the pitch, how you’re going to behave with your team-mates, are you going to make the car faster – yes or no?”
“If you do you have a chance to be here… for me to send a different message to the group was to be very, very inconsistent with what we demand.”