Arsenal to rival Tottenham Hotspur for Harvey Barnes?

ottenham Hotspur could reportedly face competition from North London rivals Arsenal for the signature of Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes.
The 25-year-old is expected to be one of several Foxes players to seek pastures new following their relegation to the Championship for the 2023-24 season.

Having netted 13 inconsequential Premier League goals last term, Barnes is not short of offers to stay in the top flight, and he only has two years left to run on his Foxes contract.

Leicester will therefore seemingly be resigned to losing their academy graduate, who is understood to be a top target for Tottenham and West Ham United.

However, the Daily Mail claims that Arsenal have also taken a liking to Barnes and could swoop for the Englishman in the coming weeks, although Leicester are yet to set an asking price.

Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes celebrates scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion on January 21, 2023
© Reuters

The report adds that an imminent deal is unlikely until Leicester slap a valuation on Barnes’s head, and the winger’s future may therefore be shrouded in uncertainty until later on in the window.

In any case, Arsenal are expected to spend a large chunk of their budget on midfield additions before giving any thought to attacking reinforcements as they work on deals for West Ham’s Declan Rice and Chelsea’s Kai Havertz.

The Gunners are thought to be working with a £200m warchest this summer, but approximately £170m of that could be spent on Rice and Havertz, the former of whom was the subject of a failed £90m bid from Arsenal on Tuesday.

West Ham are unlikely to entertain offers of less than £100m for their captain, while Chelsea supposedly received a £60m bid from Arsenal for Havertz earlier this week, but the Blues could also hold out for circa £70m.

Deals for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia and Ajax’s Jurrien Timber could also be on the cards for Arsenal, who are expected to tie English attacker Reiss Nelson down to a new long-term contract this summer.

Harvey Barnes celebrates scoring for Leicester City on August 27, 2022
© Reuters

However, club-record signing Nicolas Pepe could be on his way out after struggling to impress since his £72m move from Lille four years ago, while striker Folarin Balogun will either be sold permanently or given a chance in the first team.

Barnes has represented Leicester since joining their academy in 2007 and has gone on to make 187 appearances for the Foxes, scoring 45 goals and setting up 32 more in all tournaments.

The one-cap England international has won the FA Cup and Community Shield with Leicester, who are also fighting an uphill battle to keep hold of his compatriot James Maddison amid interest from Tottenham and Newcastle United.

Tottenham have already sealed their first signing of the Ange Postecoglou era, striking a £25.7m deal with Juventus for Dejan Kulusevski after his productive 18-month loan spell.

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