football

Arsenal keen to hijack Tottenham transfer plan by winning Jerome Boateng race


Arsenal are hoping to beat bitter rivals Tottenham to the summer signing of Jerome Boateng on a free transfer, according to reports. The 32-year-old will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the campaign after it was officially announced that he would not be offered an extension to his current contract.

Boateng has long been one of Europe’s finest central defenders, but has been deemed surplus to requirements by the Bavarian giants ahead of next season.

He has featured on 32 occasions in all competitions since the beginning of the current campaign, helping Bayern to stretch their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table to five points in the club’s search for yet another domestic triumph.

However, his current employers have already sealed the signing of RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano ahead of next season, effectively accelerating Boateng’s departure.

Since his immediate future was confirmed earlier this month, he has been heavily linked with a selection of Premier League clubs.

Tottenham and Chelsea, who are both expected to be in the market for a new central defender this summer, have been tipped to mount approaches for the World Cup winner over the coming months.

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Manchester United have also been mentioned in connection with Boateng on a number of previous occasions.

Arsenal appear set to become the next club to enter the race for his signature in the coming months, according to Sky Sport Germany.

The Gunners are firmly in contention to land the experienced centre-back but it is claimed that Spurs are in pole position to secure his services.

Boateng is reportedly keen on a return to the Premier League after leaving Manchester City to join Bayern a decade ago.

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He refused to rule out the possibility of a move back to England last year, admitting that he thoroughly enjoyed his time with City even though his spell at the club did not go entirely to plan.

“I would not say no, I loved it when I was there,” Boateng told The Guardian in December when quizzed on possible future destinations.

“For me it was really unlucky because I got injured straight away and then I didn’t really play the position they [City] promised me.

“But I still took a lot from playing in the Premier League. It helped me a lot to play and train with great players.

“I am definitely down for it, but I don’t know the future. You never know.

“But it’s not that I would say: ‘I never want to play there.’ It’s one of my favourite leagues for sure.”

Boateng was involved for Bayern in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes.

The German heavyweights were knocked out of the competition via the away goals rule but the veteran defender enjoyed a solid performance at the back, chipping in with three clearances, five tackles and five successful aerial duels.





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