Some Arsenal fans will tell you Arsene Wenger has never managed to successfully replace midfield powerhouse Patrick Vieira, and if reports are to be believed, those Gunners are set to be further disappointed.
Over in the Netherlands, Ajax midfielder Riechedly Bazoer has been on Arsenal’s radar for a long time, and the 20-year-old has already been touted as the next Vieira.
But reports today claim AC Milan have opened talks with the Dutch giants about a potential move for the Eredivisie ace.
Valued by transfermarkt.co.uk at over £12m, Bazoer has a contract running until 2020 so any potential deal would need to be worth at least £20m.
That’s not a problem for Arsenal or Wenger, who have shown in recent years they aren’t afraid to spend big to bring in the right man.
But they’ll need to launch an offer soon if they are to oust AC.
Bazoer was linked with the Gunners as long ago as 2012 when he was released by PSV, but the 6ft midfielder opted to stay in his homeland and move to Ajax.
His first-team debut came in December 2014 and Bazoer has quickly became a crucial part of the Ajax squad, dominating midfield battles across the Netherlands.
However, after featuring 29 times in last season’s campaign, things have turned a sour for the midfield enforcer under Frank de Boer’s replacement Peter Bosz.
The Utrecht native has already been left out on six occasions this season, sparking rumours that a January move could be on the cards.
Currently sitting three points off the pace in the Eredivisie, coach Bosz seems content to be leaving Bazoer out, and it appears Ajax may be keen on cashing in.
One of Europe’s hottest prospects, Bazoer won’t turn 21 until next October, and it seems inconceivable that any extension to his Ajax exile won’t end in a move to one of Europe’s biggest sides.
Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing