Premier League • England

Arsenal transfer news: Goal machine Nahuel Molina sparks two proposed bids with swap in play

Udinese star Nahuel Molina

Two sources have reported Arsenal are mulling very different raids for Udinese flyer Nahuel Molina who has racked up an incredible goalscoring record this season.

The 24-year-old operates primarily at right wing-back and has made light work of opposition defences this season. Molina has plundered seven league goals from the position, a figure that makes him the highest scoring defender across Europe’s top five leagues this season.

The Argentine also has four assists to his name, and per two reports, Arsenal are plotting a move.

Firstly, Italian outlet Calciomercato state a potential swap deal involving Pablo Mari could materialise.

Centre-half Mari is currently on loan with Udinese having signed up for a six-month stint in January.

His spell will conclude at season’s end, thought the report notes he may yet stay in Italy. That marries up with what Football London reported regarding Mari last month. They claimed that all three of Arsenal, Udinese and Mari himself were working towards a permanent move.

Mikel Arteta is stated to be ‘ready to insert’ Mari into the deal to smooth negotiations.

With Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White, Rob Holding and Takehiro Tomiayasu in situ, combined with William Saliba on the books, Mari is now seemingly surplus to requirements.

Cash-only move claimed

It would appear unlikely Mari’s presence within the deal by itself would be enough to forge a deal. Indeed, Udinese reportedly quoted €30m to Juventus when they came calling for Molina.

Journalist Ekrem Konur also reckons Arsenal are poised to try their luck for Molina. However, he stated a cash-only deal is in the works. Any permanent Mari switch to Udinese, therefore, would be a separate entity entirely.

Konur suggested talks between Arsenal and Udinese have already been opened when tweeting the two clubs are ‘continuing talks’ over Molina at present.

He concluded the Gunners are readying a £15m offer they hope will twist Udinese’s arm.

Would Nahuel Molina help Arsenal?

The most obvious stumbling point to address first is the fact Molina plays primarily as a wing-back. At present, Arteta operates with a back four.

His versatility would allow him to play further forward if required, though Bukayo Saka has the right wing slot sewn up.

As such, he would need to play as an orthodox right-back if signed and that would put his defensive capabilities to the test.

Calciomercato describe him as a ‘train’ up and down the right flank. He seemingly has the engine, and the fact he has generated 15 Argentina caps since making his debut in 2021 speaks volumes.

He would be an upgrade on Cedric Soares and allow Tomiyasu to operate in a central role if required. A move certainly has its merits, though is not without its risks either.