Report from Italy says Morten Hjulmand wants Arsenal move
Despite selling Mattéo Guendouzi to Olympique Marseille and Lucas Torreira to Galatasaray while loaning out Ainsley Maitland-Niles to Southampton and Sambi Lokonga to Crystal Palace, Mikel Arteta isn’t short of midfielders with Jorginho, Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny at his disposal.
Arsenal might need another central player, however, as Jorginho is in the eve of his career while Elneny has been short of playing time this season due to injury. Gazzetta dello Sport via Sport Witness says Morten Hjulmand would jump at the chance to join them if they were interested.
The 23-year-old joined US Lecce in 2021 and has gone on to make 81 appearances in all competitions, notching nine assists. Hjulmand is Lecce’s captain and has been indispensable under Marco Baroni, but his future is uncertain as his contract is up next year.
The Danish youth international, who’s been called up to the senior squad without making an appearance, may not extend his stay at the Stadio Ettore Giardiniero due to all the interest in his signature. A €13m (£11.5m) offer from Southampton was knocked back in January, so there’s sure to be a bidding war.
Stiff competition from Premier League
Gazzetta dello Sport say Southampton, Atalanta, Borussia Dortmund while TEAMtalk name West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton & Hove Albion as potential suitors, so Hjulmand has plenty of options if he wants to move on from Lecce. Arsenal might lead the race if they’re interested, however, as the 23-year-old reportedly has a Gunners tattoo on his body.
Football Talk recently covered a story from The Athletic that suggested Arsenal had Jude Bellingham as their No.1 target, but the Gunners acknowledge they can’t financially compete with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City. Arsenal might have to turn their attentions to more realistic options, so Hjulmand would be more affordable with a €20m (£17.5m) asking price.
Gazzetta dello Sport don’t explicitly state that Arsenal want to sign Hjulmand but claim the midfielder would like to make the switch, so time will tell if an offer comes from North London in the coming months. He’d be first in the Arsenal squad for tackles per game (2.7) and first for interceptions (2.3), so he’s at least a superior ball-winner.