Arsenal are reportedly planning another raid on Brighton to lure Japan winger Kaoru Mitomo away from the Amex Stadium in a £35m deal.
The 25-year-old is one of the standout players since the World Cup break – scoring five goals in all competitions.
Mitoma has found the back of the net in his last three matches, where he fired a late winner to send the Seagulls into the FA Cup fifth round at Liverpool’s expense.
And he also scored a spectacular goal on the death in Brighton’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday to send his side sixth in the table.
It’s no surprise the striker is attracting interest ahead of the summer, with journalist Fabrizio Romano writing in CaughtOffside that he’s on the Gunners’ radar.
Mikel Arteta saw the 13-cap international up close when he fired past Aaron Ramsdale in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Brighton on New Year’s Eve.
Mitoma, who cost Brighton just £2.7million from Japanese club Kawasaki Frontale in 2021, also had a late goal ruled out by VAR against the north Londoners.
Romano says Premier League table bosses will have to shell out at least £35m for Mitoma’s signature.
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He said: “I think the top clubs know that Kaoru Mitoma’s priority now is to focus on Brighton and not a big hit just yet.
“Of course, he is already worth over £35million, but now is not the time to negotiate at this stage.
“It’s more of a top signing from Brighton, they’ve unearthed another gem who is in great form at the moment.”
Arsenal attacked Brighton in January after signing Belgium winger Leandro Trossard for £27million.
And they tried unsuccessfully to land midfielder Moises Caicedo after having two offers of £60m and £70m rejected late in the winter window.
The Ecuadorian took to social media to beg Brighton to sell him, which led to South Coast telling Caicedo to stay out of training until the market closed.
It remains to be seen whether the club’s relationship has been affected by Arsenal’s pursuit of the player after Brighton made it clear he was not for sale at any price.
Prior to Trossard’s arrival last month, Arsenal paid £50million to bring Ben White to the Emirates from Brighton in 2021.
Brighton are on course to secure European qualification for the first time in their history.
As for Arsenal, they look set to return to the Champions League after failing to play in Europe’s premier competition since the 2016/17 season.
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