Arsenal are interested in signing Sheffield United duo John Fleck and George Baldock this summer, according to Football Insider.
The Blades are particularly vulnerable to losing Fleck as the midfielder is out of contract in 2021. The club has only just started preliminary talks with the Scotland international about a new deal.
Yet despite the fact Fleck will have entered the final year of his current contract come the summer, United are still demanding £20m for the 28-year-old.
Gunners head coach, Mikel Arteta, is said to be a long-term admirer of both players. This admiration was only further emphasised by their performances against his team at the weekend.
Fleck scored the equalising goal as the Blades came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League.
This was just the latest impressive result secured by Chris Wilder’s men this season following promotion. 23 games into their first top flight campaign in 12 years and United are seventh in the table with 33 points. That is four points and three positions ahead of Arsenal.
Why Arsenal are interested in Fleck and Baldock
The North London club are looking to rebuild under Arteta following his appointment as Unai Emery’s successor.
With club record signings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe in their squad, they have plenty of attacking talent.
Yet their midfield and in particular, their defence, has come in for stern criticism. At right-back, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is currently playing out of position with Hector Bellerin on the bench.
Recruitment there would be no bad thing and Baldock has impressed this term. The 26-year-old has started every league game, scoring two goals and providing three assists. He has also helped United to eight clean sheets and the second best defensive record in the division.
In central midfield, both Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira have come in for criticism. Matteo Guendouzi is a promising youngster, but beyond them options are limited.
Fleck is another who has done well since making the step up from the Championship. The Scot is the Blades’ joint top scorer with five goals.