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Arsenal could reportedly make a move for Aymen Barkok as the Unai Emery era gets going.
Barkok has spent the past five years on the books at Eintracht Frankfurt having joined the Bundesliga outfit from Kickers Offenbach as a teenager.
This season he made nine top-flight appearances, providing one assist, as Niko Kovac’s side wrapped up a comfortable eight-place finish.
Barkok’s forged a reputation as an adaptable attacking midfielder who is capable of using either foot equally well.
And reports in Italy indicate his performances for Frankfurt have attracted attention from Arsenal as they look to freshen up Emery’s squad.
According to Tutto Mercato Web, the Gunners are showing strong interest in the 20-year-old.
Arsenal are not alone in keeping tabs on Barkok with the transfer window now open again though.
Torino are said to be interested in taking the Frankfurt-born Germany Under-21 international to Italy.
Barkok would likely command a relatively modest fee, in line with Arsenal’s plan to make a net spend of just £50m this summer.
Guillem Balague reckons Arsenal can make that outlay work by boosting their overall transfer funds with player sales.
“Up until now, as everybody knows, everything had to go through Arsene Wenger but Unai Emery is happy to repeat the same position he has had at Sevilla, Valencia and PSG in which he was a head coach,” said Balague.
“This means – if it’s the same infrastructure – he can advise on what kind of players he needs and the club goes and gets them, for instance, and he won’t have much of a say in the amount of budget that’s needed. That will be down to the club.
“He will do what he is the best at – maximise the potential of the side and take the players out of their comfort zone. He will try and put a different kind of training, an intense training, in place with the idea that it gets transmitted into the games.
“He is a safe pair of hands in a way for a club that wants to start a new era, as they have announced – an era that includes a director of football, a technical secretary and a head coach. Because he has had the experience of it, he is somebody that knows how to respond.
“A £50m net spend could be a good figure if Arsenal are brave enough to get rid of some of the players they have, raise money that way, and bring new blood if that is what they feel they have to do. So we’ll see, they will have to be intelligent in the transfer market.
“They will have to put people there and Raul Sanllehi is still Mr Barcelona, he knows the market, knows people in the market and knows how to do good business. Emery won’t have to get involved in any of that but if you look at the squad, if they decide not to change it a lot, there is a lot of potential there.
“Players are better than they looked in the last two or three years, they just need to sharpen up and maybe a new voice and a new way of doing things which Emery is certainly going to add. He will be very meticulous and through in the way he does things.”