Arsenal are hot on the tail of Roma starlet Umar Sadiq this summer, but the Premier League giants may not have room for the youngster's arrival following reports Chuba Akpom will be afforded a first-team chance next season.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported Arsenal will join Liverpool and north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the chase for Sadiq, on loan from Serie B outfit Spezia (h/t Mirror's Aaron Flanagan).
The Nigerian native has scored twice in six senior appearances for Roma this season, but Flanagan noted his biggest achievement for the Giallorossi has been his record of 19 goals in 18 games for the club's youth teams.
Last month, the Sun's Wally Downes Jr. reported Arsenal had submitted a £13 million offer for Sadiq and provided quotes from the player's agent, Mohammed Lawalb, who confessed Borussia Dortmund are also interested: "Yes we have been approached by Arsenal, but they are not the only team interested in Sadiq as Borussia Dortmund are also pushing for him.
"In the coming days or weeks we will know where he is heading to, but for now he is very happy and focused at Roma."
Sadiq will look to compatriot Alex Iwobi as an example of the kind of success he could enjoy with Arsenal if he completes a move to the Emirates Stadium.
Iwobi has scored two goals in eight Premier League appearances for the Gunners this season, earning his competitive debut for Nigeria, and broadcaster Deji Kofi Faremi commented last month that Sadiq could be the superior talent:
The Arsenal attacker has improved his record for the Gunners since then, but manager Arsene Wenger could still look to add to his Nigerian contingent.
Mattias Karen and Colin Udoh reported for ESPN FC in March that Eagles prodigy Kelechi Nwakali had agreed a deal to join Arsenal this summer, with Samuel Chukwueze also in talks to join the Gunners.
Meanwhile, the representative for Akpom—who has enjoyed this season on loan at Championship side Hull City—has confirmed the forward will have a chance to impress in the first team next season.
Speaking to Goal's Kolade Oni, Akpom's representative, Emeka Obasi, said he was "certain" of his chances in 2016-17:
Akpom is doing very well at Hull City and Arsenal have been looking at his progress with the club. I am certain that they will recall him at the end of the season, and if he is able to have another wonderful pre-season, just like he had last season, you never can know the prospects ahead of him.
He is calm about everything and he is going about his quest to become a notable Arsenal star with utmost humility. He has continued to work harder to ensure that he realises his dream of playing more regularly for the club.
The 20-year-old has scored seven goals in 35 appearances for the Tigers this season, and his chances of earning playing opportunities under Wenger look to have been handed a major boost.
Akpom will have to beat team-mate Iwobi to a place in Arsenal's setup, but the confidence he's shown over the past two years, during which he's been farmed out four times, may make him a senior candidate next term.