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Arsenal suffer transfer blow as teenager confirms desire to stay at current club

Arsenal suffer transfer blow as teenager confirms desire to stay at current club
© Reuters
Arsenal seemingly suffer a blow in their pursuit of a teenage defensive transfer target this summer.

Arsenal have seemingly suffered a blow in their pursuit of a defensive transfer target this summer.

The Gunners could have another busy summer ahead of them, with incoming and outgoings expected as Mikel Arteta attempts to reshape his squad to challenge once again for the Premier League title next season.

Sporting director Edu recently stated that Arsenal are working through a detailed recruitment process, while co-chairman Josh Kroenke revealed last month that the club would "not stand still" in their attempts to knock Manchester City off their perch at the summit of English football.

Arsenal have subsequently been linked with a plethora of possible transfer targets and are believed to be eyeing up reinforcements in defence, midfield and attack before the 2024-25 campaign gets underway.

The addition of a new left-sided defender is high on their agenda amid uncertainty over the futures of Kieran Tierney and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Ajax's Kenneth Taylor celebrates scoring their second goal with Jorrel Hato on December 14, 2023.© Reuters

Hato commits future to Ajax amid Arsenal interest

One name who has been on Arsenal's radar for some time is Ajax teenager Jorrel Hato, who has excelled for the Eredivisie giants since breaking into the senior team in January 2023.

The 18-year-old has already made 61 first-team appearances in all competitions, including 46 outings last season, and has gained valuable experience in the Dutch top flight and both the Europa League and Conference League.

Recent reports have claimed that Arsenal are one of a number of clubs along with Liverpool and Manchester United who have expressed an interest in signing Hato.

However, three months after extending his Ajax contract until June 2028, Hato has sent a clear message to interested suitors ahead of this summer's transfer window.

Speaking to AjaxLife, as quoted by the Evening Standard, the young defender said: "I haven't finished learning here yet, and I want to win prizes with Ajax. That was my dream when I came here."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta pictured on May 19, 2024© Reuters

What next for Arsenal in summer transfer window?

While Hato's decision to stay at Ajax comes as a blow to Arsenal, who signed Jurrien Timber from the Dutch giants last year, it is thought that the Gunners are currently prioritising the addition of a new centre-forward this summer.

Newcastle United's Alexander Isak is believed to be one of Arsenal's top targets, but he has allegedly opened talks with the Magpies over a contract extension.

The North Londoners have also been linked with Bologna's Joshua Zirkzee, RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko and Sporting Lisbon's Viktor Gyokeres, but they have reportedly ended their interest in Napoli's £110m-rated striker Victor Osimhen.

Arteta's side could also look to bolster their midfield options this summer, with Newcastle's Bruno Guimaraes and Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz said to be two names high on their list of targets.

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