ARSENAL are leading the race to sign Brighton star Kaoru Mitoma, according to reports.
The Seagulls could demand £35million for the Japanese winger in the summer.
The 25-year-old has taken a unique route to becoming a Premier League ace, delaying signing a professional contract at homeland club Kawasaki Frontale aged 19.
He instead went to university and wrote a thesis on dribbling.
In 2021, he was signed by Brighton for a reported fee of just £2.7million.
Last season, Mitoma went on loan to Belgian side Union Saint Gilloise.
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Now back in England, he has been in incredible form this term, netting seven goals and registering two assists in 20 games.
His impressive performances have attracted the attention of the Gunners, reports Fabrizio Romano.
Mitoma's deal on the South Coast runs until 2025 and Roberto De Zerbi will be desperate to keep hold of him.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been keen to bolster his attack and could view Mitoma as similar in style to Mykhailo Mudryk, who eventually signed for Chelsea despite Arsenal's attempts.
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The club have been keeping a close eye on Brighton talent, having already signed Leandro Trossard in January for £27million.
Arsenal also saw bids rejected for central midfielder Moises Caicedo.
The player ending up staying at the Amex Stadium despite him trying to force a move away.
Arsenal remain keen on West Ham captain Declan Rice as an alternative, but his gaffer David Moyes claims it will take a British record offer for the Irons to sell.
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