Yves Bissouma Brighton 2021-22Getty Images

Tottenham seal £25m Bissouma transfer - but were Arsenal really interested in Brighton star?

Tottenham have won the race for Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma, with the highly-rated 25-year-old linking up with Antonio Conte’s side in a big-money transfer.

After several windows of intense speculation regarding the Mali international's future, with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United credited with interest at various intervals, Spurs have secured his signature.

He will form part of a squad that is readying itself for a return to Champions League competition in 2022-23, with his ball-winning and ball-playing qualities set to be embraced by a side that is looking for a serious upgrade in its engine room.

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How much have Spurs paid for Bissouma?

Spurs have splashed out an initial £25 million ($30m) to lure Bissouma away from the Amex Stadium, with reports stating Brighton could be due between £5-10m more in bonuses.

Bissouma is taking on a new challenge after four productive years on the south coast that delivered 123 appearances for Brighton across all competitions – with 112 of those coming in the English top-flight.

As a commanding presence in the middle of the park, the Ivory Coast-born star is best known for his combative qualities, but he is comfortable in possession and ticks plenty of boxes for Conte.

What is Bissouma’s contract length at Tottenham?

Brighton have reluctantly agreed to cash in on Bissouma as he was preparing to enter the final 12 months of his contract on their books.

With a fresh start being made with Spurs, he has signed a four-year agreement at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Were Arsenal really interested in signing Bissouma?

By GOAL's Arsenal Correspondent, Charles Watts

Bissouma is a player who has always been linked with Arsenal and he’s someone who has been monitored in recent seasons, but that is as far as things have gone.

Arsenal have never held talks with Brighton over the midfielder and no offer has ever been made.

It’s no secret that the Gunners want to bring in a midfielder this summer, but the priority has always been someone to operate in the more advanced No.8 role in Mikel Arteta’s 4-3-3 system.

Leicester City star Youri Tielemans is the player they really want and that is where the focus is right now.

There is no doubt that Bissouma is a quality player and he has performed well against Arsenal in the past, which is perhaps why so many fans were hoping he would be a transfer target ahead of the new season.

But with Thomas Partey already established as the holding midfielder in Arteta’s side, it’s understandable why they opted not to make a move for the 25-year-old.

Tottenham’s summer transfer window so far

It is shaping up to be a productive summer for Spurs, with Conte getting his wish as considerable funding is made available.

On the back of a top-four finish, moves are being made to ensure that a demanding Italian coach has the required talent and depth available to him in a star-studded squad.

Bissouma is the latest to be snapped up, with that deal following hot on the heels of experienced Croatia international winger Ivan Perisic arriving as a free agent at the end of his contract at Inter, and Fraser Forster joining as back-up goalkeeper from Southampton.

Another deal in wide areas will see Spurs move to make Dejan Kulusevski’s loan switch from Juventus into a permanent transfer, with the Sweden international impressing after arriving from Italy in January.

Brazilian star Richarlison is said to be another attacking target, with GOAL able to confirm that interest is being shown in the Everton star.

Tottenham are also in the market for defensive reinforcements, with Inter star Alessandro Bastoni said to be in their sights.

Meanwhile, at right-back, Spurs are reported to be leading the race for England Under-21 international Djed Spence – with the Middlesbrough-owned 21-year-old in high demand on the back of a productive loan spell at Nottingham Forest.

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