ARSENAL are poised to make their first summer signing … but it’s not the big-name striker Gunners fans are demanding.
Bolton defender Rob Holding is the man in Arsene Wenger’s sights, with the Premier League giants having made an offer for the promising 20-year-old.
Holding, a boyhood Bolton fan, has enjoyed a stunning breakthrough season with the Trotters which culminated in him winning their Player of the Year award last month.
But after being relegated to League One, Bolton are resigned to selling the player to raise funds and they responded to Arsenal’s bid by withdrawing Holding from the squad for their final Championship match of the season against Fulham on Saturday.
Bolton caretaker manager Jimmy Phillips told the Daily Express: “I was asked by the board of directors not to play him.
“He was in the line-up on Friday morning but that’s as much as I know.
“It would appear some clubs are interested in him somewhere down the line.
“I think the wheels are still in motion on that one and it’ll be a few days before we get an outcome.”
Bolton are yet to respond to the offer and hope that interest from Everton, Bournemouth and Scottish champions Celtic will push Holding’s price up.
A strong, powerful and commanding central defender, It is believed the Trotters are hopeful of agreeing a performance-related package in excess of £5million.
They are also keen on getting Holding back on a season-long loan next campaign which may yet prove a stumbling block as Wenger prefers to have his youngsters under his watch at the Emirates.