£30m Chelsea decision could leave Arsenal vulnerable to talisman’s transfer

Emile Smith Rowe celebrating with Bukayo Saka, Arsenal

Chelsea could have a major impact on whether Arsenal are inundated with a bid for one of their most influential stars, per a report.

The Blues made Saul Niguez a deadline day signing when acquiring the Spaniard on loan from Atletico Madrid. The 26-year-old has struggled in limited outings thus far. Though few would be surprised to see Saul find his feet sooner rather than later.

And if the versatile midfielder does come good, Chelsea will face a decision on whether to trigger the option to make his move permanent. Per the Independent, that option stands around the £30m mark.

Given the nature of Saul’s last-minute move, Atletico were left with no time to sign a suitable replacement. Antoine Griezmann returned from Barcelona, though the Frenchman operates solely in the forward line.

And according to the Express, if Chelsea do buy Saul outright, Atletico could launch a raid for Arsenal star Bukayo Saka.

The 20-year-old was recently reported to be a target for both Atletico and Juventus. A surprisingly cheap £43m was touted as being capable of giving Arsenal a decision to make. The Express article once again cites that same figure.

Saul had been shunted out to left-back on occasion during his final season under Diego Simeone. The article claims Saka’s versatility – being capable of playing at full-back, midfield and in attack – would make him a perfect replacement.

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Arsenal are currently without European football and appear on course for another difficult season despite their superb demolition of Tottenham in which Saka earned the joint-highest score in our player ratings. Accordingly, it’s stated the Gunners could be put in an ‘awkward position’ if Atletico come calling.

Though naturally, the chances of an approach being launched would significantly decrease if Chelsea opt against signing Saul on a permanent deal.

As such, Arsenal fans will be hoping Saul’s shaky start to life at Stamford Bridge does not improve.

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Arsenal target wanted by “fifteen” clubs

Meanwhile, Ajax goalkeeper and Arsenal transfer target Andre Onana has revealed that he has 15 offers on the table over his playing future.

The 25-year-old is currently in a state of limbo as he serves the final two months of his doping ban. Onana is in the final year of his contract and will be available on a free transfer next summer. Still, Ajax could yet sell him in a cut-price deal in January.

Reports have claimed that Arsenal are among the clubs showing interest. They signed England hopeful Aaron Ramsdale in August, but Bernd Leno’s future looks increasingly uncertain.

Speaking to De Telegraaf, Onana opened up on his situation at Ajax and attempts to get a new contract.

He said: “There are fifteen clubs that want me on a free transfer in the summer of 2022. Rumours that I already have an agreement with another club are not true.

“Isn’t it logical that I first offer Ajax the chance to start the conversation? Albert Botines [Onana’s agent] will soon be coming to Amsterdam and then I’ll hear about it. I just want to focus on my return. But anything is possible. Let Ajax and my agent quickly sit down and see what happens.”

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