The absolutely unhinged £30m Arsenal summer swoop that will have Premier League rivals worried

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The Gunners are being linked with an unexpected raid for top flight star

Surely, surely, surely this cannot be true. Of all the hare-brained transfer rumours you are likely to read in the coming weeks and months - and heaven knows, there will be thousands - perhaps none will stop you in your tracks and make you question the limits of the human psyche and the very fabric of the known universe as much as Arsenal apparently harbouring an interest in Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Let us not forget, that it was only this time last year that Mikel Arteta clenched his fists and stamped his feet until those in control of the purse strings at the Emirates relented and secured a loan deal with an option to buy for David Raya. Now, like your Pinterest-obsessed aunt who insists on redecorating her front room every twelve months, it would appear that he wants to freshen things up once again.

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Or at least, that’s what TEAMtalk are saying. According to a report from the online publication, the Gunners have emerged as unexpected suitors for Pickford, and could look to battle Chelsea for his signature over the course of the summer. As things stand, the alternative is that they spend £27 million or so on securing Raya’s services on a permanent basis.

Or that’s what you would be inclined to assume, because there is no way that Arsenal would spend notably on two big name goalkeepers in one transfer window to land themselves in exactly the same pickle that they have found themselves this season. It is no great secret that Aaron Ramsdale is destined for an exit in the immediate future, and the prospect of effectively having two number ones duking it out for the jersey once again feels borderline nonsensical.

But then again, so does the notion of Arteta not being satisfied with what he has seen from Raya in recent times. Granted, there have been blunders, but for the most part, the Spaniard has been an exemplary shot stopper, one who has genuinely elevated the Gunners, with the assuredness in possession to implement the passing game that is evidently so dear to the Arsenal manager and his tactical vision.

None of this is to say that Pickford wouldn’t be a good fit at the Emirates. The England number one is, like Raya, superb at preventing goals, while also being unusually gifted in his distribution. To that end, ordinarily it would be no grand shock to learn that an outfit of Arsenal’s calibre were monitoring the Everton stopper, but the prospect of them dumping a goalkeeper who they made such a fuss about bringing in so relatively recently feels a little wild.

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It’s not as if Pickford would be a cheaper option either. By all accounts, if he is to leave Merseyside this summer, it will cost a buying club somewhere in the region of £30 million - more than the agreement that Arsenal already have in place for the incumbent Raya.

What to make of this bemusing whisper, then? Well, there are two possibilities at this fledgling stage. One is that the report is a touch wide of the mark, and ultimately lacking in any real meat or substance. These things happen from time to time in the cutthroat quagmire of transfer speculation. The other is that Arteta, and Arsenal writ large, are about to set off in pursuit of one of the maddest swoops of the summer window. Crazy, crazy times indeed.

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