Arsenal eye £10m signing of former Barcelona trialist as discussions continue over loan exit for winger
Arsenal have added Giannis Konstantelias to their list of players to scout during January as they consider a move for the £10million-rated winger, according to reports.
Konstantelias has come through the ranks with PAOK, for whom he now has 20 senior appearances to his name (including 13 this season). Although yet to score, the 19-year-old has provided four assists this term. A number of clubs are now taking note of his potential.
According to the Evening Standard, Arsenal are among his admirers. In fact, the Premier League leaders are planning to scout him this month.
If they like what they see, they could make a move for him. As things stand, the asking price would be around £10million.
Konstantelias is under contract with PAOK until 2026. However, he could move to a new league before then.
In addition to Arsenal, the report mentions interest from Manchester City, Leeds United, Wolves and Crystal Palace. Outside the Premier League, Dutch side PSV and Spanish outfit Valencia are also keen.
But Arsenal would be willing to allow PAOK to keep Konstantelias on loan for the remainder of the season, which may sweeten a deal in their favour.
During that time, Konstantelias – who underwent a trial with Barcelona as a 15-year-old – is expected to make his senior debut for the Greece national team in March.
Beyond then, he could have a future as an Arsenal player. Several young prospects have gained the trust of Mikel Arteta there, so perhaps he could develop at the Emirates Stadium in the long term.
Arteta to decide on Marquinhos’ Arsenal future
Arsenal’s interest in Konstantelias is emerging at the same time as new claims about the future of someone already among their ranks, Marquinhos.
A headline from Football London implies that a decision about the Brazilian’s status is in the hands of Arteta.
Marquinhos only joined Arsenal in the summer, initially showing some promise after his move from Sao Paulo.
However, opportunities have been fewer and farther between in recent weeks. Indeed, Marquinhos has only amassed one minute of action in the Premier League, besides his three Europa League appearances and one Carabao Cup outing.
The report from Football London goes on to reveal that “discussions are being held” about whether Marquinhos should be permitted a loan exit.
The strategy was already under consideration in the summer before he earned his chance to compete for a first-team space. Now, Arsenal are giving fresh thought to the idea of loaning the 19-year-old out so his development does not stagnate.
It is not clear at this point where exactly he might end up.
Besides, Arsenal may keep him around if they have any concerns about squad depth. Arteta has already admitted they must be “extremely cautious” in terms of letting anyone go.
Hence, it is described as unlikely for Arsenal to allow Marquinhos to leave unless they can sign another attacker, such as Mykhaylo Mudryk.
Mudryk most useful option right now
The Shakhtar Donetsk winger is a top target for Arsenal this winter. However, the asking price is high and they are facing competition from Chelsea.
If they can beat their rivals to him, though, Mudryk would be more ready to make a first-team impact. After all, he already has Champions League experience.
One for the future himself, he could give Arsenal a mid-season boost but also become a stronger player in the long term.
While they sit top of the Premier League table, the north London club will be carefully considering any decisions about their squad as they aim to preserve their position.
The dream is to bring in Mudryk, but in the meantime, they also have to consider what will happen with other players, such as Marquinhos.
And if they can manage to add someone like Konstantelias with a view to next season and beyond as well, they could be putting further foundations for success in place.
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