Inside Football: Arsenal Identify Next Goalkeeper, and Leicester Star to Move On

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportJune 22, 2017

Inside Football: Arsenal Identify Next Goalkeeper, and Leicester Star to Move On

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    One of the jobs on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's to-do list is to sign a goalkeeper who can become the long-term successor to Petr Cech.

    Arenal have been looking at options around Europe over the past few months and will consider signing a new stopper in this summer's transfer window.

    This week's Inside Football looks into their search and discusses the reasons why Jack Butland is emerging as the main target.

    There is also news on Leicester City's Ahmed Musa, changes at Hull City, and how Middlesbrough are dealing with Premier League relegation.

Butland Emerges as Prime Arsenal Target

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    This summer, we have seen Jordan Pickford make a stunning transfer to Everton that could be worth up to £30 million, but fellow Englishman Butland could yet make an even bigger move.

    In April, I revealed how Arsenal were considering their own bid for Pickford, but now he has made his switch, the Gunners are looking to move ahead with interest in Stoke City's No. 1.

    Butland is the top choice to succeed the 35-year-old Cech, who is most likely heading into his final season with the north London outfit.

    England international Butland is just 24 yet already has plenty of Premier League experience and is seen as the perfect candidate to help the club move forward.

    The main priority for Arsenal, though, is to sort the futures of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, followed by signing a striker. Alexandre Lacazette is the main forward in their sights, but they know it could prove tough to convince him to join.

    Once those issues are closer to being sorted, the goalkeeping situation can be addressed.

    Stoke are not going to welcome offers. Butland signed a five-and-a-half-year contract last year, so the Potters would hold out for a huge fee.

    Sources have indicated that if Arsenal do not manage to get the deal done before the window closes, they will continue to pursue him next year rather than turn to other options.

Musa on the Move Already?

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    Musa could be offered a path away from the Premier League by former club CSKA Moscow.

    He has struggled to make an impact since joining Leicester in the summer of 2016, and the Foxes would be willing to sell if a reasonable offer arrives.

    His old Russian side are interested in the prospect of having him back and have begun to look into the possibility of a transfer.

    Musa started just seven Premier League games last term. He scored two goals and failed to register an assist.

Chelsea to Help Hull?

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    New Hull City manager Leonid Slutsky could benefit from his good relationship with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich by landing up to four players from Stamford Bridge.

    Lucas Piazon, Tomas Kalas and Lewis Baker are among names discussed so far.

    The Russian link is likely to prove extremely helpful as Hull look for promotion from the Championship after being relegated from the Premier League last season.

    Slutsky landed the Hull job after Abramovich made it his personal mission to find him a club in England.

    And there is a feeling among some sources at Chelsea that Slutsky is being eyed for a future job with the Premier League champions.

Boro Defence Faces Summer Test

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    Middlesbrough are still fighting to keep star defender Ben Gibson at the club but could yet see George Friend move back to the top flight.

    Gibson is the club's most valuable asset and has been pursued by Southampton and Stoke City this summer, and Boro will seek more than £20 million from any club that looks to sign him.

    The club remains ambitious, though, and after appointing new boss Garry Monk earlier in June, there is a growing belief Gibson will stay another year to help Middlesbrough's push for an immediate Premier League return.

    Meanwhile, Watford are looking into a move for Friend. They admire his versatility in positions across the back line, and he would boost their homegrown quota.