Dennis Praet has confirmed he has an agreement with Sampdoria and can leave this summer if the Italian club receives a suitable offer.
The reported Arsenal transfer target was first identified as a potential signing by Arsene Wenger after Praet impressed against the Gunners playing for Anderlecht in the Champions League five years ago.
Praet has subsequently enhanced his reputation in Serie A with Sampdoria where he formed a solid midfield partnership with Lucas Torreira, before the Uruguayan moved to north London after last summer’s World Cup.
‘I want to move to a top club in one of the four top leagues,’ he told HLN.
‘I don’t have a release clause, but Sampdoria have verbally agreed to grant me a move if an interesting offer arrives.’
Unai Emery has been handed a modest £40million budget to work with this summer, but that total may yet be boosted by player sales.
Regardless, the Spaniard will look to reinforce his midfield options given the departure of Aaron Ramsey, who was permitted to join Juventus on a free transfer.
Mohamed Elneny is also likely to leave the club, despite the Egypt international having signed a new long-term contract last year, while Granit Xhaka’s future is a matter of increasing speculation with Inter said to have registered an interest in the former Borussia Munchengladbach skipper.
Emery is also desperate to strengthen a defence which shipped 51 Premier League goals last season and has also targeted a move for Praet’s Sampdoria teammate Joachim Andersen.