Arteta gives update on Arsenal's transfer plans ahead of Deadline Day
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Ajax star Noussair Mazraoui has issued a come and get me plea to Arsenal, but the Gunners face a tricky challenge to complete a transfer for him. The 24-year-old is out of contract at the Dutch giants at the end of the season and appears set to leave.
Mazraoui graduated from Ajax’s famed academy in 2016, spending two years with the club’s reserve side before stepping into the senior group.
Since then, he has made the right-back position his own and has started all but four games in the Eredivisie this season.
His performances for Ajax earned him a call up to the Moroccan national side in 2018, with Mazraoui making 12 appearances on the international stage since then.
He has helped Ajax to two Eredivisie and KNVB Cup doubles in the five years he has been part of the senior team.
But the Moroccan’s career at Ajax appears to be drawing to a close, with little chance he will sign a new deal with the Dutch giants.
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He is now able to sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas team, with several sides eyeing moves.
If Ajax did harbour any hopes of being able to persuade him to stay, Mazraoui appears to have dashed them.
Instead, he has now issued a come and get me plea, with just six months now remaining on his contract.
“My future? That’s a good question. I think the chances of me remaining at Ajax are very small, maybe five per cent,” he said.
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“I am open for something new, I have played here for 16 years and I think it’s a good moment to leave.”
Arsenal will hope that new challenge will come at the Emirates Stadium, as they continue to overhaul Mikel Arteta’s squad.
While they already possess a solid first-choice right-back in Takehiro Tomiyasu, there is little competition for his place.
Hector Bellerin and Cedric Soares are both set to leave the club permanently in the coming months, opening a space for a new right-back.
But Arteta will face intense competition from Mazraoui’s other suitors as he looks to boost his defensive options.
Roma, Leeds United and Barcelona are all understood to be interested in the Moroccan, with others monitoring the situation.
Tomiyasu’s impressive displays since his summer arrival may serve to have a negative impact on Arsenal’s pursuit of Mazraoui as they would not be able to offer guaranteed game time.
Other positions, such as striker and central midfield, remain more pressing for the Gunners, though Mazraoui’s clear talent makes him an attractive target.
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