Mikel Arteta may be forced into performing a U-turn to ‘save the season’ if an Arsenal transfer nightmare unfolds over the next eight days, per multiple reports.
The Gunners remain steadfast in their desire to land Serbian hitman Dusan Vlahovic this month. The Fiorentina ace has been earmarked as the club’s No1 target to revamp their forward line. However, prising Vlahovic out of Florence in January is proving increasingly tricky.
Not helping matters is the fact Vlahovic has recently tested positive for Covid-19. Combined with Fiorentina’s high demands and interest from Juventus, Arteta is waging a losing war in his efforts to secure an Arsenal transfer in the next eight days.
Mikel Arteta is known to be on the lookout for a new number nine with all haste. Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both out of contract in the summer and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has struggled with ill-discipline.
Speculation has swirled Lacazette could be offered a new, two-year deal. Arsenal are also understood to be keen to retain Nketiah, though the latest from the Mirror suggests he could leave this week.
Crystal Palace are interested and links with the Eagles continue to persist. Citing the Sun’s Tom Barclay, the outlet reveal Patrick Vieira would like to sign Nketiah right now.
Arsenal transfer “difficult”, but Palace determined
“They are interested,” said Barclay of Palace’s pursuit of Nketiah. “They tried to sign him in the summer. they would like to have him and they’d like to sign him now if possible.
“He’s obviously out of contract at the end of the season. I was told it was a difficult deal to do. Arteta’s gone on record saying he wants him to stay, he’d like him to sign a new contract apparently.”
But if Nketiah makes it clear he won’t pen fresh terms, Arsenal may yet sanction a sale this month. If not, they will lose the striker for free next summer. And per a second Mirror report, that could spark a U-turn over Aubameyang.
Eddie Nketiah to Crystal Palace edges closer as talks continue
Eddie Nketiah wants out of Arsenal and Crystal Palace are favourites for the striker
The Gabon forward was exiled from the first-team following his latest disciplinary breach in December. Talk of both a loan or permanent exit this month has ramped up. Indeed, Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr have already made a loan-to-buy offer.
Per the Mirror, Aubameyang would reportedly prefer to remain in Europe is he does depart. But if Arsenal fail to sign Vlahovic and let Nketiah leave, Arteta may be forced into halting any Aubameyang exit plans and bring him back into the first-team fold.
With Covid absences still rife, no team can afford to be caught short on numbers, especially in a position as vital as centre-forward.
Redknapp names who’ll nab fourth spot
Meanwhile, Jamie Redknapp claimed Antonio Conte has already made a “huge difference” at Tottenham, though picked a different team as favourites to snatch fourth spot.
Speaking in the Sky Sports studio on Sunday, Redknapp hailed Spurs for bringing serial winner Antonio Conte on board, claiming the Italian has already made a “huge difference”.
Redknapp reckons Tottenham’s future is bright if Conte is backed. However, he thinks Man Utd will have too much in the race for fourth this season.
“Man United are favourites to get fourth for me,” said Redknapp (via the Express). But they’ve (Spurs) given themselves a great chance and getting the manager in when they did has made a huge difference.
“I said it a few weeks ago and I’ll say it again. If you give him the funds and get him the right players there’s no reason why he can’t achieve so much at Tottenham.
It’s all there but they need one or two to thicken the squad up and make them better.”