Arsenal are preparing a shock move to sign AC Milan defender Ignazio Abate this summer, according to talkSPORT. The 26-year-old right back was in impressive form for the Italian giants, making 35 appearances in all competitions during last season.
The Italian international is a youth product of the Milan's academy and has spent most part of his career on loan to other Serie A and Serie B clubs. His current deal at the San Siro club runs down in 2014 and the report claims that Abate is looking to move to England this summer.
Milan are keen on keeping the full-back at San Siro and are believed to offer him a contract extension to keep him at the club. However, with Abate considering a switch to the Premier League, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is considering an approach to bring him to the Emirates.
Arsenal have the services of French international Bacary Sagna, who also has a year left on his contract with the north London club. However, the Gunners' current first choice right-back is linked with a move away from the Emirates and Wenger could make an approach for Abate as a replacement for the 30-year-old.
Abate earlier revealed that Russian club Zenit St Petersburg made an approach for his signature, which was immediately turned down by Milan's CEO, Adriano Galliani.
"When Galliani informed me of Zenit's offer he didn't even consider it. He simply asked me to stay. He's the person that wanted me at Milan and he's never thought of selling me," Abate said.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal midfielder and Abate's club teammate Mathieu Flamini has revealed that he wants to return to the Premier League this summer. The 29-year-old left the Emirates and made a switch Milan in 2008.
"I've been in Italy for five years, I've had a great time and learnt a lot. But I miss England and I want to win the Premier League. It has a special place in my heart. I like the pace and the physicality of English football and I like that every game is very open," Flamini told the Sun.