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Arsenal lead chase for highly-rated defensive target

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Arsenal are set for significant changes this summer as they prepare to bolster their side following another disappointing campaign, where the Gunners have struggled for consistency and are poised to finish outside the Premier League’s top-four for the second season in a row.

Defensive additions are being chased in the market and TalkSport cites reports that indicate Arsenal lead the chase for Sporting Lisbon full-back Cristiano Piccini, who is also a reported target for Juventus and West Ham.

The 25-year-old Italy ace has excelled in Portugal this season after moving to the club in a £2.6m deal from Real Betis and Sporting can now prepare to earn a significant profit on his services, with Arsenal said to be preparing an offer worth £17.5m.

Speculation on moves for Piccini will raise questions regarding the future of Hector Bellerin at the Emirates Stadium, with the Spain ace linked with an exit to the likes of Juventus and Manchester United.

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