We’ve been saying it on here for some time now, that the transfer window will change dramatically due to the pandemic and we’ve also mentioned that clubs may have to reconsider their inflated prices in the summer. It appears the bubble has finally burst for the foreseeable future and the threat of a similar outbreak in the future will add a dash of realism to the cash happy Premier League.
According to the Mirror, Barcelona are willing to drop the asking price for defender Samuel Umtiti (26) from £50m to £25m and this could well be the first of many such price slashes.
Any self-respecting Arsenal fan will now be sending premature good luck cards to both Mustafi and Sokratis, in the hope that Arsenal can collect the cash from the sale of both and re-invest with a greater degree of intelligence and purpose.
Arsenal are also likely to be one of the big movers and shakers in the swap market. The enormously exciting exchange of Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Roma winger Justin Kluivert is said to be a distinct possibility with the former United midfielder currently on loan at Roma until the end of the season.
Mkhitaryan has made it known that he wants to remain at Roma and that he sees no future in North London. The Armenian was part of the most disastrous swap in Premier League history which also included Alexis Sanchez.
Neither player looked likely to become a force and although Mkhitaryan was average, Sanchez was far worse and somewhat predictably, United packed his bags and placed him on loan. If the deal for Kluivert goes ahead, the majority of supporters will see it as a major coup for an unwanted player who was unable to reach the Premier League level.
Elsewhere, rumours persist that Alexandre Lacazette, the ‘hippy crack’ inhaling striker, whose form has nosedived this season could be shown the exit door after some embarrassing indiscretions. His departure would surely facilitate a swap deal involving another quality player in a position where Arsenal are short, and it appears that the club are already looking at a series of swaps with outfits from around the world.
The two players mentioned as likely options are Thomas Partey and Thomas Lemar, both of whom are apparently unsettled at Atletico Madrid. Lemar has been a name linked with the Gunners for some seasons and perhaps this time, the deal may get over the line as Arsenal decide to ditch their troubled French striker for the Atletico Madrid midfielder.
This may also spell the end of Aubameyang’s stay at the Emirates because the two enjoy a solid and close friendship. The Gabonese striker’s future is still very much up in the air even though some are saying that he will sign a year extension with a possible two-year add-on if the team are in Europe.
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On the subject of transfers, Raul Sanllehi indicated that the club would act accordingly due to the Covid-19 in the coming transfer window:
“I don’t think there will be a lot of movement. The feeling is that this crisis is going to bring a new normality.”
Having said that, it appears that Sanllehi and Edu, Mino Raiola and Kia Joorabchian, are working closely together on a variety of deals, mainly swap/exchange and loans, with the possibility of the odd cash purchase if the sales of surplus players go ahead, but don’t expect a massive spend like last summer transfer window. Of the existing loans, it’s thought that only Pablo Mari looks likely to remain after impressing Mikel Arteta.