Mainz have rejected a €35m (£31m) bid for Ivory Coast defensive midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin from an un-named Premier League club that is rumoured to be Arsenal.
Bernard Collignon, a consultant/agent for Gbamin, told 90min.de earlier this year that his client is of interest to ‘top clubs’ in England, Spain, Italy and Germany.
And in reporting the rejected €35m offer, Bild has suggested that Arsenal could be involved.
The Gunners have already signed tenacious Uruguayan Lucas Torreira to strengthen central areas this summer. But the north London club also remain linked to World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi, with Gbamin arguably a younger and more long-term alternative in a similar profile.
Mainz, however, have little intention of selling as they are looking to return to the top half of the Bundesliga table after flirting with relegation in each of the last two seasons.
The English was said to be a ‘moon offer’ but that won’t sway the German club, for now.
“Jean-Philippe is not on the market,” Mainz general manager Rouven Schroder told Bild. “We too have some pretensions, and he’s a big part of our plans for the new season. There’s no ifs and buts!”
Arsenal are heading into a new season without Arsene Wenger in charge for the first time since 1996, with pre-season under Unai Emery so far delivering a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid and a 5-1 hammering of Paris Saint-Germain in friendlies in Singapore.
The Gunners are due to meet Chelsea this week, with one further warm up game planned against Lazio in Sweden on 4th August, prior to kicking of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign at home against reigning champions Manchester City eight days later.