Arsenal have entered the race to sign Hakan Calhanoglu amid doubts over the futures of Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard, according to reports.
Ceballos and Odegaard have both strengthened Arsenal’s midfield this season during loan spells from Real Madrid. However, both are expected to return to the Spanish capital in the summer. In that event, Arsenal will need to find someone to replace their creativity.
Calhanoglu has now emerged as a potential option to do so – and would be a bargain. Currently in the final weeks of his contract with AC Milan, he could be available on a free transfer.
The chance to lure him without a transfer fee has already attracted Manchester United. However, the Red Devils are not mentioned as one of three potential destinations for Calhanoglu in a report from Milan Live.
Instead, Arsenal are said to be competing with Juventus and Galatasaray for the 27-year-old.
Working with a tighter budget – especially if they miss out on European football – Arsenal will have to look for shrewd solutions. Calhanoglu would certainly fit the bill.
The Turkey international has four goals and eight assists in Serie A this season. He would like to continue his adventure in Milan but there has been no progress over a renewal.
Calhanoglu wants wages worth €5m per season, which Milan have not been able to offer. Hence, there could be an opportunity for Arsenal to sneak in.
Alternatively, Juventus could tempt him to a different destination in Serie A, or Galatasaray could give him his first chance to play in Turkey.
But the Premier League is a possible route for Calhanoglu should he move away from San Siro. Arsenal will be hoping to be the ones to benefit.
Atletico move on cards for Ceballos
As for Odegaard and Ceballos, the former is likely to be reintegrated at Real Madrid, but the latter has been linked with their rivals Atletico.
Todofichajes back up those claims. They suggest that it could cost €40m to transfer Ceballos across the Spanish capital.
It may be rare for two rivals to trade players, but Real and Atletico have negotiated before. The report points to the move Marcos Llorente made from Los Blancos to Atleti in 2019 as one precursor.
Arsenal would be unlikely to compete with the €40m demands for Ceballos’ permanent signature. Therefore, they may consider alternatives as they plan ahead, such as Calhanoglu.