Arsenal leading race to sign 24-year-old African midfielder

Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma would prefer to join the London giants ahead of any other PL club, according to reports. The Spanish manager is looking to bolster his midfield options and Arsenal have placed Mali international on their shortlist.

Gunners have reportedly opened negotiations with Yves’ representative with a view to making a move at the end of the campaign instead of in the winter transfer window. Liverpool and Man United have also been linked with a move for Bissouma. Brighton, meanwhile, are believed to be closing in on a £5m deal to sign Ecuadorian Moises Caicedo.

But the 24-year-old midfielder’s first-choice option is to join the London giants. The report claims that the Malian midfielder is ‘keen’ on a switch to the London club ‘if the prospect arises’, while Arsenal view him as the ideal partner for Thomas Partey.

The London giants may also have an advantage in the race to sign Yves as Gabriel Magalhaes and Nicolas Pepe both played with him at Lille and are in regular contact. When asked about Gunners interest, Brighton manager Graham Potter said last week: ‘We have had no interest as far as I am aware,’ said Potter.

‘Yves has probably played this season as much as he has played. ‘He is enjoying his football, he is making steps. He is probably playing as well as he has done during his time here. That’s good for us, we need to focus on that. My job is to help him continue to make steps on the pitch, then whatever happens after isn’t necessarily my area.’