Arsenal have reached an agreement in principle to make their first summer signing, the Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac.
Reports in Germany surfaced over the weekend claiming the 23-year-old had put pen to paper on a deal at the Emirates until 2022.
Raphael Wiesweg, a journalist who covers Schalke, tweeted: “The transfer of @seadk6 is fixed. Sead #Kolasinac has signed a 5-year contract at @Arsenal. #S04 #Schalke”
An agreement over a four-year deal for Kolasinac, who is a 23-year-old free agent, underlines how Wenger has been continuing to work on plans beyond the end of his contract even if final decisions on his future have not been made
The arrival in July of Kolasinac, an attacking full-back, clearly suggests that Nacho Monreal or Kieran Gibbs and perhaps both will leave this summer, and also that Wenger may well continue next season with wing-backs and three central defenders
Kolasinac has made 36 appearances for Schalke this season, scoring three goals and providing nine assists in the process.
Sead Kolasinac is recognised as a left-back but known for his ability to play in any position across the defence.
In his early days with Schalke’s second team he was deployed at centre-back and defensive midfield. He has also thrived in a wing-back role since Schalke’s switch to a 3-5-2.
And his reputation for physicality and excellent timing in the air will no doubt be an asset in the Premier League.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has switched to a 3-4-3 formation in recent weeks, and Kolasinac’s attacking threat on the left-flank is likely to have caught his attention.
Kolasinac’s performances are also said to have attracted interest from Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea – but Arsenal appear to have won the race for his signature.