Arsenal swerve another signing as barren summer continues


Arsenal have reportedly rejected the chance to re-sign Algeria midfielder Ismael Bennacer.

Bennacer, who left The Emirates for Empoli in 2017, looks all set to join AC Milan from Empoli with Fabrizio Romano claiming Arsenal have passed on the opportunity to bring the 21-year-old back to London.

The Italian reporter, via the Guardian, claims Bennacer had a clause in his contract when he joined Empoli which stipulated that Arsenal had first option on Bennacer  – if they matched any bids received for the player.

Now Milan’s bid of €16million, €2million, in add-ons was accepted over the weekend and the player is expected to seal a transfer after Friday’s Afcon final against Senegal.

It’s the second player in the space of a week which Arsenal have reportedly turned their back on this summer. With only Gabriel Martinelli, who scored against Colorado Rapids in a 3-0 in a friendly on Monday, signed so far, the Gunners are reported to have turned down the chance to sign Ajax star Hakim Ziyech.

Ajax director of football Marc Overmars confirmed that Unai Emery has turned down the opportunity to sign Ziyech.

“I think Hakim Ziyech is better than Mesut Ozil. I would tell Arsenal: sell him and you will get Hakim for half the price. But they didn’t listen to me. So it could just be that he stays with Ajax.”

Arsenal will received around £4.8m from the sale after including a 30% sell-on fee in the deal that took him to Italy.

Bennacer, who only made one appearance for Arsenal,  was named the best player of the group stages of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.