The Gunners opened talks with Sampdoria for 24-year-old Belgium international Dennis Praet, despite intense interest from Juventus. Reports circulating in the Italian media suggested the Bianconeri had struck a deal already with the midfielder set to move to Turin this summer. However, Samp’s willingness to talk to the English Premier League giants suggests otherwise.
A £22m release clause marks down Praet as a ‘steal’ according to club sources quoted by the report. It’s understood talks with the midfielder’s agent progressed well and that an approach to the Genovese club would be well-received.
The Gunners were previously interested in Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini, 21, but Praet is seen as an attainable alternative with the Giallorossi unwilling to sell their prodigy.
This isn’t the first time the Gunners have looked at signing Praet. Their first move came in 2016 when he left Anderlecht for Sampdoria. Since then, Arsene Wenger directed his scouts to monitor the Belgian’s progress.
With a new management structure in place and new parameters for players, Praet’s time as an Arsenal target seemed to have passed. However, a restricted transfer budget has brought him back onto Arsenal’s radar.
However, a number of other Serie A sides – most prominently Inter Milan and Napoli – are hovering should the signal come from Sampdoria that they are willing to sell.