European giants rival Arsenal for defensive midfielder with €40m release clause

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According to Spanish publication Sport via Milan News, AC Milan have entered the race to sign Espanyol ace Marc Roca, the Italian outfit are ‘strongly interested’ in the midfielder.

MilanNews claim that the Rossoneri have made several enquiries for the 23-year-old, who they are keen on adding to their squad ahead of next season.

Arsenal will need to keep an eye on these developments, as Sport claim that Roca already has an offer on the table from the Gunners, the two clubs were going to negotiate officially once the season ended.

Sport report that the deep-lying playmaker’s release clause stands at €40m, with the ace contracted until 2022.

The Spanish publication previously hinted that the ace could be available for lower than his release clause if bottom-placed Espanyol are relegated from La Liga.

Roca’s exit seems inevitable if Espanyol are relegated.

Sport also add that Bayern Munich made an offer for Roca last summer, they would be a difficult club for both Arsenal or Milan to match if they reignite their interest in the ace.

Roca was key to Espanyol finishing seventh last season, but things have gone terribly for the side this time around, with the outfit six points from safety as La Liga gears up for a return this week.

Roca is arguably one of the few bright sparks of the underperforming side, the ace has made 33 appearances across all competitions this season.

The defensive midfielder seems primed for a big future, he showcased his talents with some solid displays for Spain’s Under-21s side last summer, as they went on to win the European Championships.

Roca has made 92 La Liga appearances so far in his career, this makes him a decent option for an Arsenal side that are getting younger under Mikel Arteta.

The ace has a good amount of experience in of Europe’s most competitive leagues, whilst having the potential to improve into a player capable of playing for the senior Spain national team.

Considering the possibility that Roca could be available for a cut-price fee this summer, should Espanyol be relegated, he could be a worthwhile signing for the Gunners.

Arsenal aren’t exactly short-staffed in the middle of the park with their top options Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos (loan); however all of these players have been inconsistent this season and the Gunners may need a fresh spark in central midfield.

The north London outfit also have Joe Willock to call on as well as Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who could finally be set to get a first-team chance in his natural position after playing at full-back for some time.

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