It may not be a foregone conclusion that Mohamed Elneny will leave Arsenal for Galatasaray after his agent provided the latest update on his future.
Elneny is in the final year of his contract with Arsenal and there are doubts over his future. He played regularly last season but has not started a Premier League game this term.
The Egypt international was linked with a move to Turkey – where he previously spent time on loan with Besiktas -after the closure of the summer transfer window in England. But even with the Super Lig’s extended deadline, he was unable to secure an exit.
Nevertheless, he has remained on the radar of several sides there. Galatasaray have been viewed as the frontrunners and there has even been talk of an agreement over personal terms.
Elneny’s agent has now revealed his client does want to represent Galatasaray. However, he warned them that he could quite easily end up elsewhere in Turkey.
“Galatasaray is a very big club; it is doing well in European cups and Galatasaray is one of the biggest contenders for the championship every year,” William d’Avila told Radyospor (in quotes translated on Sport Witness).
“It’s a good opportunity for Elneny, so he wants to play for Galatasaray.
“I see Galatasaray every week. We already have good relationships, but I see more than one player.
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“Mohamed Elneny’s contract expires at the end of the season, so he could make an advantageous transfer in January or sign a pre-contract deal with a team for the following season.
“So it’s important to think about that, because he’s free next summer – he’s getting free status. Of course he wants to come to Turkey.
“Apart from Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir, Besiktas or Trabzonspor are interested in Elneny.
“I can’t answer this question if Galatasaray is the only option in Turkey. Of course Galatasaray has an interest because he will be a free agent, he is a good footballer, he knows Turkey, it is advantageous that he knows Turkey.
“I can say that Galatasaray is an important option for him, but I can’t say any more about it because it is too early to talk.”
Arsenal must weigh up whether to keep Elneny until the end of his contract or try to cash in for a minimal sum in January.
They will be losing him for a short time in the winter anyway due to his involvement at the African Cup of Nations.
Midfield is an area they could therefore be left light in, with Granit Xhaka currently injured, Ainsley Maitland-Niles also seeking an exit, and Thomas Partey likewise set for AFCON duty.
Arsenal involved in striker race
Despite their need for midfield reinforcements, the first position Arsenal may be looking to strengthen in January is attack.
Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both out of contract at the end of the season. Despite the club being open to them staying, each may be seeking opportunities elsewhere.
Likewise, youngster Folarin Balogun could try to leave on loan for more playing time.
Arsenal may therefore be left with just Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli up front. But the former has lost some form and the latter hasn’t always been playing centrally this season.
With that in mind, Arsenal may need to replenish their attack. A recent report revealed they have overtaken West Ham in the race to sign Genk striker Paul Onuachu.
The Hammers have outlined Onuachu as their number one target for January. By that time, a year will have passed since they sold Sebastien Haller without finding a replacement.
But Arsenal may thwart their hopes of luring Onuachu after it emerged that they have made their own approach.
The 27-year-old Nigerian has also revealed his admiration of Arsenal in the past. Therefore, they may have the edge to secure his signing.
It would be one of many pieces of business for the club to keep in mind as the next transfer window approaches.