Arsenal are in danger of missing out on a primary transfer target as Valencia and Leicester close in on Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet.
The 25-year-old enjoyed a superb 2018-19 campaign in Italy, contributing two goals and three assists for Sampdoria in 34 Serie A appearances.
His performances attracted attention from a number of top European clubs, including Arsenal, who submitted a £43 million pound bid for the Belgian and his club teammate Joachim Andersen last month – as per The Sun.
Sky Sports reports that Valencia and Leicester are now leading the transfer race for Praet ahead of the Gunners, with a potential bidding war now on the cards.
Transfermarkt states the Sampdoria star is currently worth around €24 million, which is a bargain price for a player of his age and quality in the current market.
Football Espana states that Valencia have already opened talks with the Italian club over a possible deal for Praet, but Leicester could hijack any potential move if they act quickly.
This latest news represents another major blow for Arsenal in the summer window, with only Brazilian attacker Gabriel Martinelli arriving at Emirates Stadium so far.
The Gunners need more options in midfield after Aaron Ramsey’s departure to Juventus and Praet could have made a huge difference to Unai Emery’s squad.
The Belgium international is a forward-thinking player with excellent footwork and passing ability, which makes him a great fit for Arsenal.
Unfortunately, it now looks as though if English football fans are to watch Praet in action next season, it will be at the King Power Stadium rather than the Emirates.
After this latest setback, the Gunners need to get moving in the market or risk another season of mediocrity and the prospect of even longer away from the Champions League.