Arsenal and Newcastle have entered the race to sign Marseille star Boubacar Kamara, who is also a target for Manchester United, on a Bosman deal in the summer.
According to Le 10 Sport, Arsenal could be set for a transfer tussle with fellow Premier League sides Manchester United and Newcastle United to sign Olympique Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara. The 22-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and would be free to leave in the summer transfer window if he fails to pen fresh terms with the Ligue 1 club.
Kamara is a product of Marseille’s youth academy and has become a firm fan favourite at the Stade Velodrome with his impressive displays in recent seasons. To date, the 22-year-old has made 149 appearances for Marseille, chipping in with four goals and five assists along the way. He has established himself as one of the most highly-rated young defensive midfielders in the French top-flight.
This term, Kamara has been an ever-present figure in Jorge Sampaoli’s side, making 20 appearances in the league. Alongside Arsenal loanees Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba, Kamara has been stellar for Marseille and has contributed to a resilient Les Phoceens spine that has kept a league-high 11 clean sheets while only conceding 20 league goals after 23 games (third-best record in the division).
The French Under-21 international’s fine form has not gone unnoticed on the continent, with the Premier League appearing to be the Frenchman’s likely destination, with clubs such as Arsenal, Newcastle, and Manchester United interested.
Arsenal are the latest to have joined the hunt to sign Marseille enforcer, and their interest stems from the lack of quality depth in the holding midfield department. Thomas Partey has underwhelmed this season while Albert Sambi Lokonga has struggled upon his return from injury. Meanwhile, Mohamed Elneny is out of contract in the summer, and out-of-favour star Ainsley Maitland-Niles is already loaned out to Roma.
Signing Kamara next summer might be a necessity than a luxury. Not only is he a versatile and consistent performer on the pitch, but he is also a leader. This has seen him entrusted with the captain’s armband several times this season. Despite his tender years, he has a lot of top-level experience and seems to fit the profile of players Arteta wants as he builds a squad with a young core of players and strong personalities.
Manchester United were strongly linked with a move for Kamara during the winter window, with Ralf Rangnick wanting to add another central midfielder to his squad and provide competition for Fred and Scott McTominay. With the Red Devils crying out for a recognized defensive midfielder for a while now, Kamara could be the perfect long-term fix.
Newcastle United, meanwhile, scooped in a real coup by signing midfielder Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon. However, given the Brazilian’s progressive nature, dribbling and playmaking attributes, he would be better utilized alongside a midfield destroyer as Kamara, who would also be a big upgrade on current options in Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden.
Aside from Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle, a host of European big-wigs, including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Atletico Madrid are also keeping tabs on his contract situation. It will be interesting to see where the 22-year-old ends up next season.