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Report: Arsenal battling Ivan Gazidis' AC Milan to sign the new Raphael Varane

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According to a report from Italian outlet CalcioMercato, Arsenal have joined Rennes, Sevilla and Ivan Gazidis’ AC Milan in the race to sign Lens defender Loic Bade.

The Gunners are set to lose David Luiz once his contract ends this summer. The Brazilian hasn’t been offered a new deal just yet, and CBS Sport claimed earlier this week that his agents have contacted potential suitors over a summer move.

Luiz is our most important defender at the moment. The former Chelsea man is in the twilight of his career, but he’s still a top player and any club in the world would be lucky to have him for his experience and leadership.

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Arsenal are reportedly on the market for a new defender to replace Luiz and Lens’ Bade is the latest one to be linked. The 21-year-old Frenchman only made his senior debut for Le Sang et Or last season, but he has made a massive name for himself already.

The new Raphael Varane

Bade is now Lens’ most important defender and he has already been compared to Real Madrid superstar Raphael Varane. (Ligue1.com)

That is immense praise. Varane has won it all at the top level and for a young defender to be mentioned in the same breath as him is a huge compliment, irrespective of what club he plays for.

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Standing at 6ft 3in tall, he has been a giant for Lens – not just in terms of physical stature but also in terms of quality, influence and leadership at the back. He is strong and aggressive without the ball and is very assured in possession as well.

He has all the qualities to succeed at the highest level, and as his teammate Ignatius Ganago claimed earlier this season, he will end up at a ‘top, top side soon’. (Ligue1.com)

Arsenal would certainly love to have him but there will be a lot of competition. Gazidis, for one, would love to pip us for his signature, but if Edu can use his connections to good effect, we should be able to sign the next Varane quite comfortably this summer.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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