Arsenal are reportedly leading the race to sign Brighton & Hove Albion winger Kaoru Mitoma in the summer.
Recent reports suggest that Arsenal have surged ahead in the pursuit of the Japanese international, outpacing competition from both Manchester United and Manchester City.
Mikel Arteta believes that Mitoma, given his performances since breaking into Brighton's starting lineup in 2022, could be the missing piece to enhance Arsenal's chances, especially in challenging the likes of City and Liverpool. After starring in 2022/23, Gabriel Martinelli has endured a disappointing season so far and had scored just two Premier League goals before he bagged a brace on the breakaway to round off Arsenal's emphatic victory over Crystal Palace.
Report: Arsenal leading the race to sign Brighton star Kaoru Mitoma
Spanish outlet Fichajes indicates that Arsenal are actively pursuing Mitoma and have emerged as the frontrunner in the transfer race, leaving United and City behind in their pursuit. The winger's notable contributions to Brighton have reportedly captured the attention of the North London club.
Mitoma could potentially follow in the footsteps of other Brighton players who made moves to 'Big Six' clubs, two of whom - Ben White and Leandro Trossard - joined Arsenal. However, any potential transfer is unlikely to happen during the January window, as Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi is hesitant to part ways with a key player midway through the season.
Brighton's history suggests that they only sell their best players when the timing and transfer fee align with their demands. Reportedly seeking at least £70m for Mitoma, Brighton may entertain negotiations in the summer, and Arsenal appears poised to engage in discussions for the 26-year-old forward.
Arsenal have successfully negotiated with the Seagulls when they secured the signings of Trossard and White, but they had more issues when attempting to prise Moises Caicedo away from the South Coast in January 2022.