Tottenham and Arsenal are among the busiest Premier League clubs in this summer’s transfer window as they look to close the gap on last season’s top six.
Spurs had to be content with a place in this season’s UEFA Conference League after missing out on a top six finish while the Gunners missed out on European qualification entirely - for the first time in 25 years.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are set to complete the signing of Atalanta central defender Cristian Romero, in addition to their loan deal of goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini and signing of winger Bryan Gil from Sevilla.
Arsenal spent £50million to sign central defender Ben White from Brighton while they have added full-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica and Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Both clubs are now focusing their transfer efforts into a creative midfielder and despite both clubs sharing similar aims and budgets, they are unlikely to be challenging for the same players.
A report in the Evening Standard has outlined that Spurs are now turning their attention into an attacking midfielder, with Mikkel Damsgaard of Sampdoria and PSV’s Noni Madueke are top of their list.
This contrasts to the Gunners, who appear to have Leicester City playmaker James Maddison at the top of their wanted list in the position, while they are also holding out hope of a potential return of Martin Odegaard - who starred for Mikel Arteta’s side in the second half of last season, on loan from Real Madrid.
The most striking difference between these targets is the likely transfer valuation, with Spurs pursuing targets who are in a more affordable price bracket.
Leicester and Madrid are both in much stronger negotiating positions over any exits than either Sampdoria or PSV - the Dutch club’s financial outlook for the campaign may hinge on Champions League group stage qualification - who are likely to be open to selling any of their stars for a satisfactory deal.
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Damsgaard burst onto the wider scene this summer with his starring role in Denmark’s run to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, when he scored a spectacular long-range free-kick in his side’s eventual loss to England.
The 21-year-old has been one of the brightest stars in Serie A and the club would be hopeful of negotiating down on his reported €50million (£42m) asking price.
Madueke, an England Under-21 international, has netted 11 goals in 39 first-team appearances from PSV - whom he joined from Spurs in 2018 as he wanted a quicker path to first-team football.
Now aged 19, Madueke starred in his side’s Champions League win over Danish side FC Midtjylland on Tuesday - including an eye-catching goal - and could be on his way back to North London this summer.
Crystal Palace, Leeds, Southampton and Bayern Munich are all said to be monitoring a move for the talented teenager.
What is clear is that both Spurs and Arsenal will continue to press for players in the positions but their different targets hint at their contrasting objectives for the same position.
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