Arsenal-linked defender Tapsoba's future addressed by Leverkusen director Rolfes

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Edmond Tapsoba Leverkusen 2021Getty Images

Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes has addressed the rumours linking Edmond Tapsoba with Arsenal.

Tapsoba has emerged on the Gunners' radar after an impressive individual campaign at the Bay Arena, with it reported that Mikel Arteta is looking at the 22-year-old as a potential replacement for outgoing centre-back David Luiz.

Rolfes has now come out to clarify Leverkusen's stance on Tapsoba's future, insisting that they have no intention of sanctioning the Burkina Faso international's departure at this stage.

What's been said?

"Edmond should also play a very important role for us next season," the Leverkusen chief told BILD when quizzed on Arsenal's reported interest in Tapsoba.

Tapsoba's record at Leverkusen

Tapsoba completed an €18 million (£15m/$22m) move to Bay Arena from Portuguese outfit Vitoria S.C. in the summer of 2019, committing to a five-and-a-half-year contract with the German club.

The talented defender has since racked up 61 appearances across all competitions for Leverkusen, with 39 of those outings coming in the 2020-21 campaign.

Tapsoba also contributed two goals as Leverkusen secured a top-six Bundesliga finish while reaching the Europa League round of 32.

The bigger picture

Tapsoba's value has only increased since his arrival at Bay Arena, and with his current contract not due to expire until 2026, it would likely take a sizeable bid from Arsenal to secure his services.

It has been reported that the Gunners will be short on funds in the summer window after missing out on European qualification, meaning Arteta may have to explore cut-price options and loan deals once again.

However, the north Londoners could yet raise extra money through player sales, with the likes of Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin being tipped to follow Luiz through the Emirates Stadium exits.

Arsenal have reportedly been looking at Sevilla’s Jules Kounde alongside Tapsoba, and potential moves for Crystal Palace’s Tyrick Mitchell and Hibernian’s Josh Doig have been mooted as Arteta also seeks to bolster his options in full-back positions.

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