The press has put its inventive hat on this week to rekindle two stories involving Arsenal’s long term transfer strategy but excited supporters need to take stock. One story involves RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano and the other being run on current loanee Dani Ceballos.
Raul Sanllehi is well documented for dismissing the January transfer window and this could be part of his poker game to avoid disclosing transfer targets or it could be as he once said, to cover injuries and absences.
Having said that, if someone of the quality of Dayot Upamecano’s stature became available, then surely, Arsenal would be first in line to sign him up.
The press are fully aware of Unai Emery’s interest in the player and his release fee has dropped from the ludicrous €100m to around the €60m mark, which is hardly a drop in the ocean but it’s slightly more affordable for Arsenal’s negotiating team.
However, don’t start thinking that Upamecano is going to arrive in January because it’s simply not plausible before the end of RB Leipzig’s season.
If reports are to be believed, a deal could take place in the summer and its thought that the gunners have made a suggestion of interest in advance. They had placed a bid in the summer which was around £55m, which was swiftly rejected but now, due to the player’s apparent refusal to extend his contract, he may be available for £52m.
How Leipzig’s officials must be kicking themselves in the shins at the prospect of losing £3m over the course of the season. The fact is Leipzig have had to drop the fee because Upamecano could walk away for nothing when his contract expires in 2021 and they will be keen to avoid that.
Of course, the eventual figure involved could climb if another club comes in and it’s thought that Upamecano has expressed a desire to play in the Premier League, which will mean that Arsenal may be dragged into a bidding war with another Premier League club.
Chelsea will soon be free from financial restrictions and both Spurs and United may also show interest but the latter two may be under new management by then, causing additional complications during a window under new management.
If Arsenal do secure Upamecano, then the central defence will have a French heart and with William Saliba due to take up his post, the two could form a partnership for over a decade. It’s all hypothetical but I suspect Arsenal will almost certainly be back in the summer for one of the world’s best defensive talents.
Next up, the press decided to inform fans that Unai Emery was extremely interested in securing midfielder Dani Ceballos on a permanent deal.
The reality of this story is that the Spaniard still expresses a desire to play for Real Madrid and unless anything changes drastically, Ceballos will return to Spain at the end of the season. Looking forward, Real’s management may even change opening the door for the loanee to cement himself in the side or quite the reverse.
There are too many ifs and buts to this story because if the Spanish club fire Zinedine Zidane, they will probably have to pay €40m in compensation. If that happens, Madrid may have to clear the books to some degree and Ceballos could be on his way out.
It’s a glass half empty or half full scenario with so many variables that favour Arsenal as they act against them.
I’m not sure this will happen, nor am I sure that Ceballos has shown his quality consistently for Arsenal to merit this consideration but in fairness, he hasn’t the opportunities or run in the side to show his full repertoire.