EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal target Bundesliga star Kone as Zubimendi alternative

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 24 Mar 2024 07:48 GMT
  • 4 min read
Manu Kone, Arsenal

Arsenal are keeping tabs on Manu Kone, FootballTransfers has been told.

Well-placed sources at Arsenal have informed FootballTransfers that the Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder has been watched closely in recent times.

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The 22-year-old is seen as a potential alternative should the Gunners for some reason miss out on Martin Zubimendi, who is considered one of Mikel Arteta's top targets to reinforce the midfield.

READ MORE: Exclusive - Arsenal make €100m striker number one summer transfer target

Zubimendi has no shortage of suitors around Europe, with Bayern Munich and, as revealed by FootballTransfers, Liverpool also keen on the 25-year-old.

Last week, FootballTransfers exclusively reported that Arsenal were preparing a wage package for the Basque to see whether he could be tempted to leave his hometown club.

Zubimendi has a €60 million release clause that the north London side would be prepared to trigger, but it is unclear whether the San Sebastian native is ready to leave Real Sociedad.

Manu Kone
© IMAGO - Manu Kone

Why Arsenal want Kone

Should Zubimendi indeed refuse to move or should he get snapped up by a different side, Arsenal would be prepared to shift their attention to Kone.

The Frenchman has endured a difficult season after previously being one of Gladbach's standout performers. Last year, he was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool, as revealed by FootballTransfers, but the Reds ultimately signed more high-profile midfielders.

Kone has only featured in 18 Bundesliga matches this term due to injury and suspension, but he remains a highly-rated player. The combative youngster is good on the ball and not afraid to do the dirty work.

READ MORE: Exclusive - Arsenal set for mass exodus to boost summer funds, with THREE players set for chop

Kone is much more attack-minded than Zubimendi or Thomas Partey, who is facing an uncertain future at the club. We reported in February that Partey will be given a final chance to prove his fitness and win himself a contract extension in the final months of the season. The Ghanaian wants to stay but would be open to returning to LaLiga.

In 81 games for Gladbach, Kone has notched six goals and four assists. In October 2023, the Foals triggered a one-year option in his contract, keeping him at the club until 2026. Kone does not have a release clause and currently boasts an Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) of just €11.6m, down from a peak of €21m.

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