Arsenal are prepared to sacrifice an expensive signing if it helps bring a major Juventus star the other way, and the Serie A club’s stance on the proposed deal has become clear.
Juventus appear destined to experience a mini overhaul of their squad in upcoming windows. The likes of Weston McKennie, Aarom Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Dejan Kulusevski have all been reported to be on the chopping block by one report or another.
Today’s news concerns Sweden winger Kulusevski – who was recently revealed to be on both Tottenham and Arsenal’s radars.
The 21-year-0ld has struggled for starts under the returning Max Allegri this season. He had been touted as a potential makeweight in a deal to bring Fiorentina hitman Dusan Vlahovic on board. However, Monday’s Paper Talk suggested the Serbian could be Tottenham-bound.
That would leave Juventus mulling a Kulusevski sale outright. Italian outlet TuttoJuve, insisted any club wishing to sign him will have to pay around €35m (£29.85m).
That figure is close to the sum Arsenal are reportedly looking to recoup for Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian is out of favour at the Emirates. And with academy graduates Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka now occupying slots in the attacking areas, Pepe faces an uphill struggle to regain his place.
As such, Italian outlet Calciomercato claimed the idea of a Pepe-Kulusevski swap deal had been touted by club ‘intermediaries’.
Spurs' confidence over January signing of Juventus' Dejan Kulusevski
Spurs have reported confidence over striking a deal in January for Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski, with more updates on Weston Mckennie and Gareth Bale.
However, that type of move is not something that appeals to Juventus. In Calcio’s words, a swap does ‘not convince’ the Turin club.
That doesn’t mean the chances of seeing Kulusevski at the Emirates are over, however. The article reaffirms the notion that Juve are ‘ready to sacrifice’ the right winger. But if Arsenal are to sign him, it will now likely take a straight cash bid.
Tottenham cannot be discounted from the race after registering their interest. Additionally, the presence of former Juventus employees Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici at Spurs could give them an edge.
But if Kulusevski had his way, he would line up for the red half of north London. He previously admitted to growing up a Gunners fan on a Swedish podcast in 2019.
Arsenal decision smooths waters for winter exit
Meanwhile, Arsenal are reportedly happy to allow forgotten midfielder Mohamed Elneny to leave on a free transfer in the January transfer window.
The 29-year-old appears surplus to requirements at the Emirates Stadium. Manager Mikel Arteta has handed him just 48 minutes of top-flight football in 2021-2022. The Egypt international has started two EFL Cup games but it is inevitable that his days in north London are numbered.
Elneny will be out of contract next summer. However it has been reported, per The Mirror, that Arsenal are willing to let him leave for nothing in the new year.
That will speed up his inevitable departure and get him off the wage bill. Earlier this month, the player’s agent, William d’Avila, admitted that the schemer does fancy a move to Turkey. Galatasaray are favourites but others also come into the equation.
But according to Turkish outlet Fanatik, Galatasaray are at the front of the queue. And the fact they will not have to pay even a small transfer fee makes the move more likely.