Sead Kolasinac has reportedly undergone a medical and agreed terms on a free transfer to Arsenal this summer, according to latest reports.
The Schalke left-back has been targeted by a host of top European clubs in recent months, with the Gunners said to have beaten off competition from the likes of Chelsea and Juventus for the defender.
Kolasinac has shone in the Bundesliga in recent years and looks set to replace Nacho Monreal as first choice left-back for Arsenal upon joining the club next season.
The 23-year-old’s contract with Schalke expires this summer, and Goal claim that his move to north London is all but done despite Arsene Wenger denying the rumours in his press conference today.
Arsenal look in urgent need of strengthening in the transfer market after a disappointing season, and fans will be pleased to see Wenger move fast to snap up an in-demand talent.
Kolasinac was also reported earlier this week to have signed a four-year contract at the Emirates Stadium as speculation surrounding his next destination grows.
The Bosnia international now looks highly likely to becoming an Arsenal player once his Schalke contract comes to an end at the end of this season.
It is also understood that Arsenal would now be open to selling Monreal in the upcoming transfer window.
Arsenal’s current full-backs, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs, are mostly known for their ability to push forward and take part in attacks – often leaving the two central defenders badly exposed to counterattacks.
Kolasinac, however, is a defender whose strength is actually to defend. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international is excellent in one-on-one situations, often dealing with attacking wingers by simply muscling them off the ball.
His upper-body strength certainly sets him apart from Arsenal’s current left-back options and should make him a good fit for the Premier League.
A physical presence and a tough attitude is exactly what the Gunners’ back four needs, and Kolasinac would provide both. That’s not to say he’s wouldn’t be a threat going forward. He can also deliver excellent crosses with his left foot, and has the energy to make raids down the flank.
Arsenal need a long-term solution to the left-back position and, at 23, Kolasinac is almost at a perfect age: experienced enough to play immediately but young enough to have his best years ahead of him.
Nacho Monreal’s form has dipped this season, and the Spaniard could already be past his best at 31. Kieran Gibbs is 27 and is unlikely to get much better than he already is – which isn’t good enough for a regular starting role.
If Kolasinac signs, Gibbs is almost certain to move elsewhere this summer. But that seems like a strong possibility regardless.