The Saudi takeover of Newcastle has fuelled the imagination of the press in terms of who they are likely to buy at the first available opportunity and there are rumours of surplus Arsenal players being on that transfer list.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and even Pierre Emerick Aubameyang are all supposedly on the shopping list but, hold on a moment, won’t that depend on who the Newcastle manager is? Of course, so let’s just take a breath and watch for that appointment first. Amanda Staveley isn’t about to make these types of decisions without securing the services of the man who will reflect the ambitions of the club.
There could well be a bid for Arsenal players in the summer transfer window but in the meantime, rumours are popping up of the Gunners themselves being linked with some former players including Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on a six-month loan, but even more curiously, the North London club are linked with former striker Alexis Sanchez.
That rumour made me laugh out loud because everyone at Arsenal including players and coaching staff were relieved when the Chilian striker made his exit for a disastrous spell with Manchester United. He now faces the ignominy of having to seek employment after an equally poor shift for Inter Milan, but can you really see him back in an Arsenal shirt? After all the drama, the periods of well-documented attention-seeking and endless demands?
I’m sure a great many fans would rather Mikel Arteta took a gamble on Jack Wilshere who would give anything to step out in front of the Emirates home crowd. Don’t rule that one out yet.
No, Sanchez is a non-runner and Ox is just a journalist making connections even though the dots linking the club and player are missing. If fit, Oxlade-Chamberlain could be of some service to Arsenal but exactly where would he go? Is he an additional cover for Odegaard, Smith Rowe or is he sitting in the Xhaka role alongside Partey? It doesn’t sit right for me.
Elsewhere, Alexandre Lacazette is edging towards the exit door in January and his likely destination seems to be Inter Milan, but it appears Barcelona are also monitoring the striker’s situation. Arsenal have to offload the player in January or lose him for free in 2022, which indicates that he only has months until he glides out of the Emirates, however, Arsenal will have to compromise on the price to do the deal.
He’s valued at around £19m but I very much doubt they’ll get that, with every club able to pick him up for nothing in Jun 2022. Edu will need to be very persuasive to get anywhere near the current valuation but if he picks up £15m for the bench warmer, he will have pulled off another masterstroke.
Gabriel Martinelli’s position continues to confuse. The Brazilian looked certain to feature regularly for the Gunners but he just hasn’t delivered in the few opportunities he’s had. It’s said that the youngster is becoming very frustrated and that he will review the situation after the season is over.
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No doubt that will include a tricky meeting with the manager and technical director where he will seek solid assurances that he has a role to play at Arsenal or Martinelli will move on. No doubt.
Some rumours also indicate Edu to be working on two prospective deals, one that could be completed in January and the other in the summer but one word of warning, the winter transfer window isn’t normally favoured by Arsenal and it’s usually notoriously difficult to close a deal during that period. If the Gunners can secure another defensive/creative midfielder and a potent striker, then Arteta’s Arsenal will be in good shape next season.
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