Arsenal have reportedly earmarked Brighton back-up goalkeeper Jason Steele as a homegrown option to replace Aaron Ramsdale this summer.

Gunners manager Mikel Arteta could be forced to bring in a new No 2 behind David Raya if Ramsdale decides to search for game time elsewhere.

With only six Premier League appearances all season, and none in games Raya has been eligible to play since early September, Ramsdale’s brutal demotion to the Arsenal bench seems certain to end his three-year association with the club this summer.

His rise through the ranks at Sheffield United makes him a homegrown option – defined as any player to have been registered with a club in England or Wales for a minimum of three seasons before the age of 21.

Premier League rules dictate that each team must list at least eight homegrown players in their 25-man squad. With Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson also being starved of game time, Arsenal could be at risk of missing their homegrown quota for next season if they jump ship with Ramsdale.

According to the Evening Standard, there is a growing feeling that Arsenal will turn towards Steele. Other reports indicate that there is ‘real interest’ from the Gunners, and the Brighton man would be open to the move.

Steele spent three seasons in the same dressing room as Raya at Blackburn Rovers between 2014 and 2017. Whereas Steele was the top dog during that time, the roles would almost certainly be reversed at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal had been linked with their former academy product Wojciech Szczesny, but the Juventus goalkeeper’s wages could be deemed too expensive for a back-up, and it is doubtful he would give up a starting role with the Bianconeri to play second fiddle to Raya.

Steele, 33, has rotated with Bart Verbruggen in goal for the Seagulls this campaign, which has limited him to only 16 Premier League appearances. At 21 years old, Verbruggen is expected to grow into Roberto De Zerbi’s undisputed main man.

Prospects of Arteta tinkering with first-choice goalkeeper Raya are slim as the Spaniard picked up his 15th clean sheet of the Premier League season against Bournemouth earlier this month, making him the outright winner of the coveted Golden Glove.

Raya followed that up by securing another shutout at Manchester United on Sunday, as Leandro Trossard scored a close-range winner to keep the pressure on fellow title chasers Manchester City.