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Arsenal make transfer approach for Champions League ace Arteta is 'in love with'

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ARSENAL have made an approach for Girona star Viktor Tsygankov, reports suggest.

Tsygankov, 26, had a sensational season in Spain with the City Football Group-owned outfit.

Arsenal have reportedly made an approach for Girona star Viktor Tsygankov

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Arsenal have reportedly made an approach for Girona star Viktor TsygankovCredit: Getty
Tsygankov scored eight goals and added seven assists
Tsygankov scored eight goals and added seven assists

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The winger netted eight goals and added seven assists in 30 La Liga games as Girona earned a surprise spot in the Champions League through a third-place finish in the league.

And with Arsenal back in the competition once again next season after finishing runner-up to Manchester City in the Premier League, they are looking to weaken one of their potential rivals.

Having only joined Girona permanently from Dynamo Kyiv in January, Tsygankov has a number of top clubs after him this summer, including AC Milan and Tottenham.

However, Spanish outlet AS report it is the Gunners who have made the first move in an effort to sign the Ukrainian.

Tsygankov has a contract with Girona until 2027, but a release clause worth just £25.5million (€30m).

The report adds that Catalonian outfit want to keep him “at any cost”, but saw January discussions over a new contract fall flat.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is said to be “in love” with the winger and thinks he would be a “perfect” addition to the squad.

Arteta is after a player who can provide cover for talisman Bukayo Saka, who has scarcely been afforded a rest over the last three to four seasons.

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Tsygankov’s compatriot Mykhailo Mudryk was previously on Arsenal’s radar before Chelsea swooped in with a colossal £88m offer.

But with an affordable release clause and pull of Champions League football, the North Londoners have the necessary chips in their hand to get a deal done this time around.

How Arsenal’s 180-page dossiers on transfer targets have led to outstanding recruitment

This being said, Tsygankov declared he would not try to force his way out of the club, though admitted “anything can happen”.

He said: “All players dream big, they want to play in big clubs, top leagues. I’m not unique in this.

SunSport’s verdict on Arsenal stars

Mikel Arteta is looking to get Arsenal ready to beat Man City to the title after another near miss, but he may need to be brutal with his squad in order to do so. Here’s SunSport’s verdict on who should stay and who should go.

David Raya – STAY: Initial doubts arose when he replaced Aaron Ramsdale, but he has since proven himself to be a world-class keeper with all the attributes needed for Arteta’s way of playing.

Aaron Ramsdale – GO: Unfortunate to be cast aside for Raya, but is now looking for a move to become a regular No.1 elsewhere, especially with his aspirations of one day starting in goal for England.

Karl Hein – STAY: Unlikely to take Ramsdale’s spot as No.2 should the Englishman depart – but the club cannot afford to lose two keepers in one window.

William Saliba – STAY: Saliba is of the best young defenders in the world right now, Arteta should be building his team around him. A vital part of the side’s spine that conceded just 29 Prem goals this term.

Ben White – STAY: Another solid member of Arteta’s impressive back four. Has the flexibility to play on the right or as a central defender, but has made right-back his own this term.

Gabriel – STAY: Was on the outskirts at the start of the campaign but forced his way back in and has forged an almighty partnership with Saliba in the middle of the defence. One of Arteta’s most important signings.

Jurrien Timber – STAY: Yet to see the best of the Dutchman after an injury-hit season, but Arteta views him as a game-changing full-back.

Jakub Kiwior – STAY: The Polish international has struggled to break up the duo of Saliba and Gabriel but has impressed when called upon, especially in a stint at left-back.

Cedric – GO: Leaving the club with his contract expiring. Never really convinced Arteta he could be relied upon and spent most of the season warming the bench.

Takehiro Tomiyasu – STAY: Another flexible and reliable figure that Arteta adores. Can play centre-back or right-back and is a real presence at set-pieces.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – GO: With Timber in line to be Arteta’s first choice at left-back, it is hard to see the Ukrainian starting many games for Arsenal next season. A good signing at £35m but has shown himself to be limited defensively.

Thomas Partey – GO: Injury prone and has looked leggy when finally back from his thigh issues that kept him out from October until March. Contract is up next summer.

Martin Odegaard – STAY: Captain fantastic. A real leader amongst men at such a young age. The 25-year-old is on course to lift the Prem at Arsenal sooner rather than later.

Emile Smith Rowe – STAY: Sidelined for most of the term and struggled to make an impact when called upon, but Arteta still sees something in him. A decent squad option but you get the feeling he is running out of time to prove to the club he is a player worth sticking with.

Jorginho – STAY: Arteta’s experienced general who, more often than not, has Arsenal playing better with him in the team.

Fabio Vieira – GO: Perhaps harsh to judge him based on just 16 appearances in all competitions this season but still looks out of place in English football. A loan move could help.

Mohamed Elneny – GO: Another player departing with his contract expiring. The right call by both parties. A good servant from the Arsene Wenger days.

Kai Havertz – STAY: Seems a bargain now at £65m from Chelsea following his barnstorming end to the season. Arteta bought him as a midfielder, yet now leads the line as a first-choice No.9.

Declan Rice – STAY: Arsenal’s most important and influential signing in years. Enough said.

Bukayo Saka – STAY: An undroppable superstar for club and country right now. Will undoubtedly get even better in seasons to come.

Gabriel Jesus – STAY: Fighting for a starting spot but right now but would be foolish to let him go given how much he can impact games and his winning mentality inside the group.

Gabriel Martinelli – STAY: A dip in form this term but Arteta has huge faith in him. The added competition with Leandro Trossard will only make him better.

Eddie Nketiah – GO: Career is at a crossroads right now and he needs to leave to turn that around. His six-figure wages could put Premier League suitors off.

Leandro Trossard – STAY: Can bring his qualities as a starter or from the bench – a brilliant option to have when you are going for a title.

Reiss Nelson – GO: Arteta has often spoken of Nelson’s potential and likes having him around the squad, but his impact has withered over the past 12 months.

“Since I was young I wanted to play at a high level and of course I like that there are important clubs in Europe looking out for me.

“I don’t really know what will happen. In football anything can happen.”

Mikel Arteta’s striker shopping list

By Jordan Davies

ARSENAL are stepping up plans to sign a world-class striker in the summer after their Champions League heartbreak.

Mikel Arteta splashed out £204.5m last summer on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.

But the Spanish manager accepts he needs a proven goalscorer to take the club to the next level.

And here are the players he is looking at to get the Gunners firing:

BENJAMIN SESKO (RB Leipzig, value £40m-£45m)

One for the future at 20 years old. Scored 16 goals for RB Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga last season and the Slovenian has carried on that good form in Germany with Leipzig this campaign.

VIKTOR GYOKERES (Sporting Lisbon, value £60m-£80m)

Been scouted several times this season. The Swedish striker, 25, is more of a traditional No 9 so may not suit Arsenal’s demand for flexibility but would bring a physicality that boss Mikel Arteta craves.

ALEXANDER ISAK (Newcastle, value £75m-£85m)

Impressed in his first two seasons in English football. The Swede, 24, has the pace and finesse to match his finishing ability, and Eddie Howe’s Toon may need to sell to balance the books this summer.

JOSHUA ZIRKZEE (Bologna, value £45m-£50m)

Dutch wonder  is attracting the attentions of clubs across Europe. At 6ft 4in the 22-year-old forward would have no trouble adapting to the Premier League and already has an eye for goal.

XAVI SIMONS (RB Leipzig, value £70m-£80m)

An incredible talent in the Bukayo Saka mould, currently on loan from Paris Saint-Germain. The future of the Dutch attacker, 20, depends on how much money his parent club want to make from him.

Tsygankov has been named in Ukraine‘s squad for Euro 2024, where Arsenal star Oleksandr Zinchenko may be asked to put in a good word by Arteta.

However, ex-Man City star Zinchenko is one player who has been tipped to leave the Emirates this summer.

Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Aaron Ramsdale and Thomas Partey are other high-profile names on that list.

SunSport revealed earlier this week how Arsenal would reluctantly sell Nketiah to pave the way for Benjamin Sesko.

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