Gunners sources yesterday laughed off as “nonsense” reports from Italy that Unai Emery’s side have already bid for the pair.
But it is an open secret that the Arsenal boss has both players on a long list of potential summer targets.
The Gunners turned their attention to Belgium midfielder Praet as a cheaper alternative to Cagliari’s £43m-rated Italy star Nicolo Barella.
He has been on their radar for years, had a trial at Arsenal as a youngster, and more recently played in the same midfield as Lucas Torreira at Sampdoria.
Praet also admitted earlier this week that he wants a move to “a top club in one of the top four leagues” and has a verbal agreement to leave if the right offer arrives.
Denmark defender Andersen, who was once on Tottenham’s radar, is also on Emery’s wish list as a cheaper alternative to Samuel Umtiti, who wants to stay at Barcelona.
But Arsenal have a limited transfer budget after missing out on Champions League football when they lost to Chelsea in the Europa League final.
“Dennis Praet and Joachim Andersen will cost Arsenal £44m”
And they are prepared to pull the plug on the move unless Sampdoria are willing to negotiate.
A move for Praet and Andersen is further complicated by the fact that the Serie A side’s coach Marco Giampaolo is on the verge of joining AC Milan.
Sampdoria are in no rush to sell either player while the uncertainty over who will be in charge of the club next season continues.
And it is understood Giampaolo wants to take either Praet or Andersen with him to Milan if a deal can be done for one of the two.