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Arsenal, Manchester City 'battling for Michael Kayode'

Arsenal, Man City 'battling for Michael Kayode'
© Reuters
Arsenal and Manchester City reportedly prepare to go head-to-head for the services of 19-year-old Fiorentina defender Michael Kayode this summer.

Arsenal and Manchester City are reportedly preparing to rival one another for the services of Fiorentina defender Michael Kayode this summer.

The former Juventus youth product has enjoyed a breakthrough season on the right-hand side of the Viola backline in 2023-24, registering one goal and three assists from 26 matches in all tournaments.

Kayode was only promoted to Fiorentina's senior ranks from their youth system in the summer but has already nailed down a regular starting role, starting 15 Serie A contests and four in the Europa Conference League.

On account of his rise to prominence, the 19-year-old was awarded a new long-term deal with Fiorentina last year, penning an extension until the end of the 2027-28 season with the option of a further 12 months.

However, La Viola will be braced for bids for the teenager during the summer transfer window, although his renewal at least means that Fiorentina can entertain a bidding war for his services this summer.

Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in action with Fiorentina's Michael Kayode on October 8, 2023© Reuters

According to - via Fichajes - both Arsenal and Man City are locked in an intense battle to capture Kayode, while AC Milan, Inter Milan and Manchester United have also been linked with an approach.

The defender's agent has affirmed that his sole focus remains on Fiorentina, but Man City and Arsenal - the latter of whom are pushing the hardest to sign him - are not fazed by his recent renewal.

While Fiorentina are determined to retain Kayode's services, the report claims that the Viola would be willing to start the bidding at £15m, although they are likely to recoup far more.

Both Arsenal and Man City could be waving goodbye to Portuguese full-backs in the summer transfer window, as Cedric Soares is set to depart the Emirates when his contract runs out in June.

Kayode would still be playing third fiddle to Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White at right-back, but the Italy Under-21 international is also capable of featuring on the left-hand side, an area which Arsenal are looking to strengthen.

Barcelona's Joao Cancelo before the match on September 3, 2023© Reuters

Kieran Tierney - on loan at Real Sociedad - is expected to depart on a permanent deal at the end of the season, while Oleksandr Zinchenko has struggled with a couple of calf injuries since joining in 2022.

Meanwhile, Man City are expected to sever ties with Barcelona loanee Joao Cancelo, whom the La Liga champions want to keep on the books beyond the end of the season after his alleged falling-out with Pep Guardiola.

However, Barcelona are supposedly only willing to offer up to £17m for Cancelo, who also spent the second half of the 2022-23 season with Bayern Munich and is still under contract at the Etihad until 2027.

Kyle Walker - who turns 34 in May - was also heavily linked with a switch to Bayern Munich last year, but the former Tottenham Hotspur man ended up extending his deal with the treble winners until 2026.

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