Arsenal Transfer News: Wilfred Ndidi Interest Amid Manchester United Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistApril 1, 2018

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 18:  Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City during the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Leicester City and Chelsea at The King Power Stadium on March 18, 2018 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal reportedly "want to sign" Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi this summer but are expected to face competition from Manchester United and Liverpool, who are also thought to be monitoring his progress.

The Premier League trio are tracking Ndidi after a hugely successful first year in English football, and The Sun (h/t MailOnline's Luke Augustus) reported the Gunners are serious about their interest.

The report included quotes from a source said to be close to the Nigerian detailing the level of top-flight interest in his services: 

"There has been so much interest in him. He is going to be a top player and Arsenal have been in contact. They want to sign him this summer.

"Arsene Wenger is a manager he admires a lot and his friend Alex Iwobi has told him lots of great things about the club.

"But there is no shortage of offers. Liverpool have shown strong interest and [Manchester] United."

The connection with fellow Nigeria international Iwobi could prove a valuable ace in the hole for Arsenal as rumours spiral, and the BBC's John Bennett recently illustrated his admiration for the emerging Foxes talisman:

John Bennett @JohnBennettBBC

Wilfried Ndidi is such a talented player. Wins the ball back with ease. Huge potential; only 21 and only been playing in that position for about 3 years. Will keep getting better. #LEICHE

Ndidi moved to the King Power Stadium in December 2016 as a purported successor to N'Golo Kante, who joined Chelsea earlier that year, and he's done an admirable job in helping fill the void left by their former general.

His pedigree in break-up play is well-renowned by this point already, despite joining Leicester from Genk only a little more than a year ago, and his status as a destroyer of Premier League midfields is well-deserved:

Premier League @premierleague

Most tackles won this season: 80 - Wilfred Ndidi 79 - Idrissa Gueye 60 - N'Golo Kante #PL https://t.co/OUX0Creh31

Arsenal could do with a player fitting that profile, to say the least. Granit Xhaka was thought to solve the need for a disciplined engine-room technician but hasn't been quite the success fans hoped for, while Mohamed Elneny isn't perhaps up to the standard the Gunners desire if they want to be challenging for major titles.

Ndidi received a controversial red card in Leicester's 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, after which Leicester Mercury writer James Sharpe illustrated the loss he'd represent to his side:

James Sharpe @TheSharpeEnd

Ndidi will be a big loss. So crucial to how #LCFC play, and no one else in the squad who does what he does. Huge chance, though, for Adrien Silva to impress in Ndidi's absence.

Liverpool already have one African midfield star en route to Anfield this summer, having signed RB Leipzig talisman Naby Keita ahead of time, but Ndidi is a slightly more regimented, deeper-lying commodity.

United's midfield will need additions at the end of this season, meanwhile, as veteran Michael Carrick heads toward retirement and Marouane Fellaini looks set to leave when his contract expires in June.

But for all the creativity at their disposal, one could argue it's Arsenal who have the greatest need for a player of Ndidi's description.

The Gunners missed out on Kante after he proved his mettle in a short spell with Leicester, but they'll be hopeful of not making the same mistake if Ndidi is indeed on the move at the end of this season.