Arsenal: Competition for Algerian winger; set-back in Mustafi chase; 24-year-old leaves
With the closure of the summer transfer window nine days away, Arsene Wenger is coming under increasing pressure to add to his side, firstly to patch up his depleted defence and secondly to bolster his attacking options after Arsenal picked up a solitary point from their opening two games of the Premier League season.
In terms of adding to their attacking options, after losing out in Riyad Mahrez, Arsenal have been widely linked with want-away Porto winger Yacine Brahimi. The Algerian has been lined-up as another option out wide with Danny Welbeck out until the New Year and Alex Iwobi picking up a thigh strain. The Gunners will be facing competition for the winger’s signature, however, after Sky Sports News claimed that Everton have already opened talks with the Estadio do Dragao club over an acquisition.
The report claims that talks are proceeding well between the two clubs, but Arsenal are set to be given a boost in their own pursuit, since Brahimi allegedly would prefer to join a club that has qualified for the UEFA Champions League. according to the Telegraph.
The 2014 BBC African Player of the Year has already turned down the chance of a big-money move to China over the summer, and the lure of the Premier League and of Champions League football may be enough to swing the pendulum Arsenal’s way, if Wenger actually goes ahead with tabling a bid.
Meanwhile, the long-running Shkodran Mustafi saga seems to have hit another snag. After rumours emerged that the two parties had finally agreed on a fee for the German international, Valencia now appear to be sticking to their guns, as the Daily Mirror reports they are only prepared to sell the player for 50 million Euros, the equivalent to roughly £43.23 million.
The Telegraph‘s reckoning is that Wenger, in consequence, was prepared to pull the plug on the pursuit with West Bromwich Albion’s former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans also in his sights, but with Valencia in need of funds the transfer may yet go ahead.
The La Liga club are attempting to gather funds together to lodge a bid for Chelsea winger Pedro, and with Mustafi a potential money-maker the Mestalla outfit may budge on the deal, with the Mirror claiming that Arsenal’s transfer specialist Dick Law has flown out to Spain in an attempt to accelerate the deal’s completion.
Elsewhere, rumours of Joel Campbell’s impending departure were confirmed after the player put pen to paper on a seasn-long loan deal at Sporting Lisbon. Despite enjoying a breakthrough season at the Emirates last campaign with 30 appearances and four goals, he has been unable to force himself into Arsene Wenger’s plans during pre-season and now leaves on his fifth loan spell since joining the Gunners back in 2011.
That may not be all in the way of loan deals either, as the Telegraph claims that Arsenal’s 21-year-old German winger Serge Gnabry, is set to head out on loan to the Bundesliga.
Gnabry has been on international duty at the Rio Olympics, where Germany won silver after losing out on penalties to host nation Brazil in the gold medal match, and with no involvement in Arsenal’s pre-season, he is consequently set to spend more time away from the Emirates after a loan spell at West Bromwich Albion last season, with FSV Mainz 05 and Hertha Berlin both interested parties in the winger’s native Germany.
There is more news emerging from the papers however surrounding the Gunners, with the Telegraph also reckoning that the North London giants are amongst the clubs scouting one of the Championship’s promising starlets, Nottingham Forest winger Oliver Burke, who has been causing quite a stir at the City Ground.
The 19-year-old is already a capped senior international for Scotland after earning a call-up from national team manager Gordon Strachan, and has started the season for the East Midlands outfit in scintillating form, with three goals in the opening four games of the season.
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