Arsenal ‘join’ Chelsea in transfer race for £35m-rated World Cup defender

Ten Arsenal players are jetting off to Qatar for the World Cup this week
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Arsenal are said to have joined the race to sign Inter Milan right-back Denzel Dumfries, according to Calciomercato. Chelsea are also considering a move for the Dutchman.

Dumfries spent three years with PSV before his stellar performances in his native country earned him a move to Serie A giants Inter Milan. The defender has been a regular in Serie A since and has continued to impress for his new club, scoring five goals and providing four assists in 33 league appearances last season. Despite an underwhelming start to the 2022-23 campaign for Inter, Dumfries has continued to be an everpresent figure in the starting line-up and has continued to attract interest from abroad.

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Chelsea had initially looked to snap him up in the summer, however the transfer failed to materialise and the report claims they will now look to reignite their interest in January and will be joined by the Gunners. While Dumfries’ contract in Milan doesn’t expire until 2025, it is believed that the Italian giants will demand £35 million to convince them to sell - only £5m more than what Arsenal are willing to spend.

While Mikel Arteta’s side only brought in Takehiro Tomiyasu to fill the right-back role last summer, the Japan international has struggled with injuries this season and has been replaced by the versatile Ben White - who has arguably been one of their top performers despite being out of position. While it appears that Arsenal are keen to strengthen their depth in defence, the World Cup could come at a bad time for them if they are to remain in pursuit of Dumfries.

The 26-year-old has earned 37 caps for the Netherlands and will no doubt feature heavily for them in Qatar. With the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong and Steven Bergwijn among their ranks, Louis van Gaal’s side are expected to impress and Dumfries will also be eager to shine in his first World Cup. A quality tournament for the right-back could see his price-tag shoot up and give the Gunners more sides to compete against for his signature. However, Arsenal’s current position in the table may give them an advantage in the race to sign him - especially if Chelsea struggle to return to the top four.