The Borussia Dortmund centre-back is set to enter the final 12 months of his contract with the Bundesliga giants over the summer and, according to Castles, the Gunners have been ‘preparing a deal’ to secure his signature for quite a while.
Zagadou is Paris Saint-Germain academy graduate but joined BVB in search of regular game time back in 2017. The 21-year-old has impressed throughout his time in Germany, making over 70 appearances for the Westfalenstadion outfit.
His excellent performances have attracted admiring glances from some of the continent’s top clubs, and Castles disclosed how Mikel Arteta’s men are keen to bring him to north London next season.
He said: (15:27) “He has been pursued by Arsenal and watched by Arsenal as a strong option for their centre-back positions for some time now. They have, I’m told, been active in preparing a deal to bring him from the Bundesliga this summer.
“Quite a lot of work done on that, the idea being that he would be available for around 30 million euros, perhaps less given that you only have one year of contract left.
“There is one setback in terms of finally completing up or moving that deal further forward. And that’s that last month Zagadou suffered a reoccurrence of a knee injury and the club, Dortmund, announced that he would be out for the rest of the season in order to have a knee operation to sort out a problem that first started in April last year and required surgery.”
TIF Thoughts on Zagadou…
The France under-21 international is a very highly-rated defender, but multiple injuries have limited him to just 381 minutes of senior football this season.
Arsenal have been linked to several centre-backs since Arteta arrived 18 months ago, including Roger Ibanez from Roma and Manchester City’s Eric Garcia, as the 39-year-old attempts to sure up his backline.
However, their interest in Zagadou appears to be the strongest, although signing a player with such a lengthy injury record is always a risk.