Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly planning a double raid on Premier League duo Riyad Mahrez and Ben Gibson for a combined sum of £55m this summer.
The Frenchman has just over a month left on his present deal in north London, but The Express suggests that the 67-year-old will extend his contract for another season.
Wenger has also underlined his options for the upcoming transfer window with Leicester City’s Mahrez and Middlesbrough’s Gibson among the top names on his shortlist.
Mahrez, 26, had been the subject of a £35m approach from the Gunners last summer but he opted to snub their advances in order to pen a fresh four-year deal at the former Premier League champions.
The Algerian international, who currently earns £100,000-a-week, has not been in the best of form this term, but he is nevertheless a priority for the Gunners alongside European rivals Paris Saint-Germain.
Mahrez is likely to cost a fee of around £30m as he bids to join a bigger club capable of offering him European football at the least next season.
Meanwhile, Boro’s Gibson is the other name on the Gunners’ radar after having thoroughly scouted his progress at the Riverside stadium this term.
The former England youth international is capable of featuring at both centre-back and left-back, and this has impressed the Gunners’ hierarchy, who could cough up a £25m sum for his services.
League rivals Chelsea and Liverpool also hold an interest in the versatile defender, who is likely to be on the move after Boro were relegated back to the second division.
Middlesbrough currently rate their graduate at around £30m, but this valuation could come down reasonably as the transfer window beckons.
Arsene Wenger’s strengthened their chances of a top-four finish to the league standings following a convincing 4-1 win at Stoke City on Saturday – their first-ever away win against the opposition.
The FA Cup finalists have two more games to play against Sunderland and Everton – both at home, and they will be hoping that Liverpool slip up at West Ham United in order to better their prospects of attaining a Champions League qualification spot.
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