Manchester United are still in the hunt for a centre-back and have made an enquiry with Fiorentina for Nikola Milenkovic.
The Red Devils have shown interest in the 21-year-old defender previously and have made another approach for him this week, according to Gianluca di Marzio.
United reportedly made a bid for Milenkovic in January but their €40 million offer was turned down with the Italian outfit holding out for €50m.
Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s side have returned to training without a new centre-back which was thought to be the top priority this summer.
Advances for the likes of Mathijs de Ligt, Issa Diop and Harry Maguire have so far been unsuccessful but in Milenkovic they face a real possibility of prying him away from La Viola.
However, the Serbian has been growing in stature in recent months and has attracted interest from other clubs too though no concrete links have been made.
Coach Jose Luis Sierra has strengthened his imprint on fallen Saudi Professional League giants Al Ittihad after surprise one-season deals were completed for familiar faces Luis Jimenez and Emiliano Vecchio.
Clubs in the Kingdom have, to date, been more circumspect in this summer’s transfer window, following 2018’s landmark $173.9 million splurge. This conservative approach continued on Wednesday when the Tigers announced their first foreign additions as they attempt to drastically improve on last term’s lengthy flirtation with relegation.
Vecchio, 30, has joined up with Sierra for the fourth time in his career. The Argentine forward first worked under him in Chile with Union Espanola and Colo-Colo, before briefly combining at Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club in 2018/19 prior to the tactician’s October dismissal.
Experienced fellow Chilean Jimenez, 35, will add some craft alongside resident playmaker – and close friend – Carlos Villanueva. The ex-Inter Milan conductor played for several sides in the Middle East from 2011-18, prior to an enjoyable homecoming at Palestino.
Brazilian forward Romarinho, Morocco internationals Manuel da Costa and Karim El Ahmadi and Serbia centre forward Aleksandar Prijovic currently round out their seven-player non-Saudi quota.
Cape Verde winger Garry Rodrigues is expected to imminently depart for Turkish giants Fenerbahce on loan. He cost €9m in January when purchased from fierce Istanbul neighbours Galatasaray.
The Turkish Super Lig outfit have been linked with Ozil in recent weeks, with the Gunners reportedly keen to offload the 30-year-old from their wage bill.
Ozil, a former Germany international of Turkish descent, struggled to impress new Arsenal head coach Unai Emery last season and often found himself sidelined for the bigger games.
That is despite the fact he signed a new deal in February 2018 making him the highest-paid player in the history of the club.
His wage of £350,000 a week eclipses most of players in the current Arsenal squad and could prove a stumbling block in an attempt to move him on, with injury and illness also ruling him out of a number of games over the last couple of seasons.
A deal with Fenerbahce, whether permanent or on loan, was the latest speculation but the club released a statement on Wednesday announcing their finances meant Ozil was not a target.
“In recent weeks, and especially in the last few days, the necessity of providing information about the claims of Mesut Ozil, which is on the agenda, to clarify the situation has arisen,” it read.
“Mesut Ozil, with his career and stance successfully represents our country abroad, is an important value known with the identity of Fenerbahce.
“However, Fenerbahce does not have an initiative for Mesut Ozil. Under the current economic conditions, such a step is not possible for both parties.
“Our President, Ali Koc, made statements in this context and emphasised that this could not be realised in the short term. We present it to our community and the public.”
Arsenal are set to head to the United States later in the week to begin their pre-season tour.
Newly-appointed technical director Edu will link up with the squad, with new signing Gabriel Martinelli also likely to be making the journey.
And there could be more transfer activity from the club in the coming days, with Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba reportedly close to sealing a move to the Emirates Stadium.
PA understands that the deal for the 18-year-old, reported to be worth £27million, is yet to be completed with Saliba likely to be loaned back to the Ligue 1 side for next season.