Since Sven Mislintat decided to leave Arsenal in January, two names were heavily linked to succeed him as the Gunner’s sporting director. The two names were AS Roma’s sporting director Monchi (Ramos Rodriguez Verdejo), and Ajax’s Marc Overmars.
However, Monchi is leading the race, after he left Roma by mutual consent last week. TalkSport even reported that Arsenal are close to announcing the Spaniard as their new sporting director.
Overmar’s recently said that if he were appointed by the Gunners, the first person he will sign will be Matthijs de Ligt. However, who are the players that Arsenal will sign if Monchi is appointed?
Arsedevils takes a look at the six players that are most likely to be signed by the Gunners if Monchi is appointed:
The Argentine left-back has continued his World Cup form by shining for Ajax in what is being proved as a brilliant season for the Dutch side. He has been reliable in the back four, and has been effective going forward as well.
Spanish outlet Marca reported that Arsenal are in the hunt for Tagliafico, who joined Ajax only this year for just £4m. Unai Emery has targeted Tagliafico as the replacement for the ageing Nacho Monreal, and the deal will cost a bargain amount of £8m, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.
However, as Marca reports, both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are interested in the left-back, and the player himself expressed his admiration for the Spanish league. In this scenario, Monchi will play a vital role in convincing the player to swap the sunny Spain for the Premier League.
Steven Nzonzi has been linked to Arsenal for almost a year now, and a deal was almost pulled off for the French midfielder last season, but he chose to join Monchi’s AS Roma instead. Now, Monchi might pull off a similar deal for Arsenal, bringing the French international to the Emirates.
CalcioMercato has reported that Arsenal are preparing a bid for Nzonzi, and the deal might cost £25m. Rivals Tottenham are also heavily interested in the midfielder, so Arsenal will need all the help they can get from Monchi to pull off this deal.
Yet another Roma player to appear on this list, Zaniolo is a player that is well known to Monchi. The Spanish transfer specialist bought the midfielder for a mere £1m in a deal that involved Radja Nainggolan join Inter Milan.
Since joining the Giallorossi, Zaniolo has enjoyed a breakthrough season this year, and has emerged as one of the hottest midfield prospects in Europe. The 19-year-old midfielder is seen as a replacement for the departing Aaron Ramsey, who is set to join Juventus next season.
Fresh Arsenal reports that any deal for Zaniolo might cost around £50m. However, CalcioMercato have reported that Juventus are also preparing a bid for Zaniolo, and Arsenal will need to work hard to pull the deal over the line.
Arsenal’s interest in Ever Banega is not new, with Bleacher Report reporting that the Gunners have been tracking the Sevilla midfielder since the last summer. Banega is familiar with both Monchi and Unai Emery, having worked with the duo in Sevilla.
According to Bein Sports, the Argentina international has created the sixth-most chances in this La Liga season. He also shone at the World Cup, showing creativity and an eye for long-range passes.
However, the 31-year-old Banega has a £17.6m buyout clause, and Sevilla are in no mood to let their star midfielder leave. Arsenal will need to try hard if they want to persuade Banega to switch Andalucia for London.
The third Roma player to appear on this list, Cenzig Under seems to be Arsenal’s number one transfer target, according to both Metro and The Sun. Arsenal scouts have visited the Stadio Olimpico several times to watch the Turkish international, as Unai Emery shifts his focus towards the attack after the impending departure of Ramsey and the uncertainty surrounding Ozil.
The 21-year-old Under, who operates primarily in the right wing, has exploded since joining Roma in 2017, and has scored six times and assisted nine more in 25 appearances this season.
The biggest hurdle in securing the signature of Under is the price tag, with Roma asking for more than £45m for the player. To secure funds, Arsenal will need to qualify for the Champions League, and Unai Emery is well aware of that fact, with Arsenal sitting two points clear off the fifth place.
Reports coming out from Italian outlet Tuttosport claims that Arsenal are interested in signing former Liverpool winger Suso, who now plays for AC Milan. The report claims that Monchi, who tried to sign Suso during his time in Roma, will be vital if the Gunners want to sign the winger.
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Suso has been a star for AC Milan since leaving Liverpool, and has scored seven goals and provided eight assists in 30 appearances this season. However, the Spanish winger has a £34.3m release clause, and the Italian side are reluctant to let their star man go.
However, Arsenal are pushing hard for a deal, and has scouted Suso more than once. Journalist Nicolo Schira claimed that Arsenal sent their scouts on Saturday during Milan’s game against Chievo to observe Suso.