A midfielder Arsenal were reportedly preparing a ‘super offer’ to sign will be on the move in 2023, and his preference is likely to leave fellow suitor Liverpool frozen out, per reports.
Arsenal’s campaign prior to the World Cup break could hardly have fared better. Mikel Arteta’s side top the Premier League table after winning 12 from 14 and hold a five-point gap over title favourites Man City.
The Gunners also cruised through their Europa League group despite regular rotation from Arteta. They did bow out of the League Cup when losing 3-1 to Brighton, though removing that distraction from the equation may well prove a blessing in disguise.
Things are rosy to say the least at the Emirates, though Arsenal aren’t content to stand still.
They’re understood to be chasing both a new winger and a central midfielder in 2023. Regarding the former, Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk could be signed for less than half the price quoted just a few weeks ago.
Youri Tielemans remains a primary candidate to bolster the engine room, though AC Milan’s Ismael Bennacer has also been linked.
Curious ‘super offer’ would see Partey leave
The 24-year-old Algerian was the subject of a remarkable report out of Italy earlier this week that claimed a ‘super offer’ was in the works.
CalcioMercatoWeb claimed a cash-plus-player deal that would see Thomas Partey move the other way was being explored.
Losing a player as influential as Partey makes little sense, and the latest update on Bennacer suggests such an offer won’t be required anyway.
Firstly, Bennacer, 24, is confirmed to have split from his former agent Moussa Sissoko around six weeks ago.
Since then, Bennacer had taken control of his own destiny and had been negotiating directly with Milan Sporting Director, Paolo Maldini, regarding a contract extension.
However, it appears those discussions have not borne fruit, and Bennacer is now represented by the agency run by the late Mino Raiola.
There’s far more to the story, however, with SempreMilan reporting Bennacer no longer wishes to extend his stay at the San Siro.
Bennacer has preference amid Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool interest
Instead, he’s apparently dead set on leaving Milan in the summer of 2023. At that stage, he’ll have just 12 months remaining on his deal and Milan may cash in while they still can. If they do, it stands to reason they won’t get naximum value given his contract status and exit desires.
Three Premier League clubs are credited with interest – Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Liverpool’s midfield problems have been well documented and Jude Bellingham is their primary target next year.
However, more than one addition may be required and Bennacer – valued at €40m by Transfermarkt – would represent a fine signing.
However, the 44-times capped Algeria international is understood to favour a move to London. As such, Arsenal or Chelsea are far likelier to succeed than Liverpool if any of their interest is acted upon.
SempreMilan cite Algérie Football Média in their article, who categorically conclude Bennacer’s ‘decision is made’ and he ‘will leave Serie A for the Premier League next summer’.