Chelsea have made first move to sign £52m star, just days after Arsenal started getting linked - journalist
Photo; Claudio Villa; AC Milan; Getty Images

Chelsea have made first move to sign £52m star, just days after Arsenal started getting linked - journalist

Football journalist Simon Phillips has told GiveMeSport that Chelsea have now made their move to sign AC Milan’s Ismael Bennacer, just days after Arsenal started getting linked. 

Arsenal are seemingly on the lookout for midfield reinforcements ahead of the January transfer window after missing out on Doulgas Luiz over the summer. 

The Gunners are slightly short in central midfield at the moment and it seems that Mikel Arteta could turn his attention to a former Arsenal man in Bennacer. 

Photo by Claudio Villa/AC Milan via Getty Images

A report from Gazzetta dello Sport claimed yesterday that the Gunners have actually made contact with Milan over the 24-year-old. It comes after CMW claimed that the Gunners were planning to swap Thomas Partey for the Algeria international.

But now it seems that their London rivals Chelsea have also made initial contact with Bennacer over a possible move to Stamford Bridge. 

Chelsea make move for Bennacer 

Phillips claims that Bennacer is currently at a stalemate in terms of his contract renewal with Milan and it has alerted Chelsea. 

“Chelsea have got other options. One I reported today is Ismael Bennacer from AC Milan,” Phillips told GiveMeSport

“He has been sounded out as an option down to his contract situation. He is another one whose deal runs out in 2024 and, at the moment, he’s not going to sign an extension with AC Milan.

“Negotiations are ongoing, but he’s asking for too much more than what the club are prepared to pay at the moment.”

Photo by Claudio Villa/AC Milan via Getty Images

Of course, Bennacer was once on Arsenal’s books as a youngster but only made one first-team appearance before joining Italian outfit Empoli back in 2017. 

He has now developed into a top-class midfielder in Italy and it’s no surprise that Arsenal reportedly want to bring him back to north London. 

Arteta will certainly need midfield reinforcements, with just Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga as the only back-up options to Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka at this moment in time. 

Bennacer would certainly be a brilliant addition for the Gunners but even with just over 18-months left on his current deal, Milan reportedly want around £52 million

And it seems that Arsenal could face stiff competition from Chelsea for his signature. But if early season form is anything to go by, the Emirates seems like a more attractive destination for the midfielder than Stamford Bridge right now.

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