Arsenal have reportedly stepped up their interest in Nicolo Barella after sending scouts to watch the Cagliari midfielder in action.
Chelsea are rumoured to have had a £44m bid knocked back for Barella in January, and Arsenal are believed to have now stolen a march on their city rivals.
La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that the Gunners watched the Italy international up close in Cagliari's 2-1 win over Inter Milan on Friday evening.
Barella missed a late penalty in that surprise win for his side, leaving him on one goal and two assists for the campaign.
Cagliari supposedly want £44m for their academy product, which would eat up Unai Emery's entire summer budget.