Arsenal are reportedly willing to offer Sambi Lokonga plus a cash sum to secure the signing of Lazio captain Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed a fruitful start to the season at Lazio, netting four goals and contributing seven assists in 12 matches across all competitions and has drawn wide acclaim across Europe.
With a number of top teams – such as Juventus, Liverpool and Man United – all interested in the Serbian, the Gunners are hoping to use their Belgian star to sway a potential transfer in their favour.
According to Calcio Mercato, the Gunners are preparing to offer £52m (€60m) plus Lokonga in exchange for the Lazio midfielder.
Lokonga joined Arsenal last season in a deal worth around £18million and was tipped for big things by his former boss Vincent Kompany, who compared him to his old Man City team-mate Yaya Toure.
However, the Belgian’s time in north London has not gone to plan and he’s struggled to make a significant impact in Arteta’s side – casting his future at the club into doubt.
He’s made just six appearances in all competitions this season with the majority of those coming in the Gunners’ Europa League group stage games.
Meanwhile, Milinkovic-Savic has been in inspired form and heads the shortlist for a number of clubs across Europe as they approach the January transfer window.
However, a deal to sign the Serb may prove costly, after Lazio chief Claudio Lotito claimed he wanted clubs to pay no less than £105million for their star midfielder.
The club president insisted that the Serbian’s price tag would rise every month, in a bid to bat away offers from the potential suitors in January.
Lotito told Il Messaggero: ‘I have no agreement with his agent [Mateja] Kezman to sell him to Juventus or anyone else in the winter.
‘On the contrary, he is now worth €120m [£105m], not €100m [£88m]. Every month the price goes up.’
Man United had pursued the Serbian this summer although after Erik ten Hag’s side were able to lure Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, they may no longer be interested in the Lazio star.
Milinkovic-Savic has become a stalwart in the club since signing in 2015, racking up 306 appearances and 62 goals.
He is performing particularly well this season, and has picked up 10 goal contributions in the opening 11 rounds of Serie A .