Clue: Four of the eleven above are mentioned.
Reality: Probably only one will.
That’s right, the ‘Ornacle’ himself has made the claim that not only are Arsenal interested in signing the Crystal Palace winger, but the player himself ‘favours’ a move to north London over the other interested parties.
While it is the kind of ambitious move that was hinted when Ivan Gazidis stated the club’s move to the Emirates was a ‘catalyst for change’, it may well have been better suited to a time when the club actually had some money.
One of the worst kept secrets this summer has been the pitiful transfer budget Unai Emery has to throw about this window, somewhere around £45m. And while that may be a ploy from the club (it most likely isn’t), a decent chunk of the squad will need to make way if they’re to cough up Palace’s £80m asking fee. So, who could be ousted?
Time to take a look..
Much-maligned for his tendency to either blow lukewarm or ice-cold, Granit Xhaka sure does divide opinion up in north London. The Swiss international joined the club in the summer of 2016 for a fee in the region of £35m after being, quite frankly, pretty decent in the Bundesliga.
A cracking first goal for the club away at Hull City aside, umpteen questions marks remain over his importance in the side. Many fans state his role at the base of the midfield is pivotal to building attacks, while the more sensible supporters point to his harrowing knack of farcical errors in vulnerable positions and lack of pace in recovery as inexcusable.
Whatever your opinion, if he were to go, he could command a decent fee. Interested clubs that are swayed by stats placing him in the top ten of the Premier League for touches may be willing to make their move, but the club would be looking for at least what they paid for him after signing a new long-term deal last year.
Interested Clubs: Atletico Madrid, Inter
Much-maligned for his tendency to be absolutely dreadful or monumentally appalling, Shkodran Mustafi sure doesn’t divide opinion up in north London. The German has followed in the path of Phil Jones for being constantly ridiculed by English football fans for being utterly reckless and positionally inept.
He’s rubbish, we all know that, and you would be hard pressed to find a single Arsenal fan who wouldn’t drive him to his next club free of charge – even stopping at the services on the way to pay for his dinner. Like Xhaka, he too joined in the summer of 2016 in the epitome of a ‘panic buy’, which was in excess of £35m.
Ideally, shipping out a defender would mean another one comes in, but Zaha is a talent not to be scoffed at and selling Mustafi may make a couple of quid. If anyone wants him.
Interested Club: AC Milan
Fee: £20m (at best)
At his prime one of the division’s finest centre halves, Koscielny’s time in north London appears to have run its course. Nine years with the club is testament to the Frenchman’s consistency at the Emirates, feared for his pace and strength, and admired among the fans for his work rate and desire.
Unfortunately, now at 33-years-old those legs can run as fast and it’s a shame to see the club captain struggle with the demands of the Premier League. While it looks unlikely that any fellow English sides will be hot on his trail, some European outfits have been touted as a destination for the defender.
Interested Clubs: Lyon, Borussia Dortmund, Rennes
Now, it also makes no sense writing this one up as its nigh-on inevitable that Ozil will be staying put this summer. In a similar vein to that of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid, both clubs want rid of their respective stars, but in both cases neither player has even the most minute intention of doing so.
Why would you? Ozil is earning £350k-per-week at Arsenal and has another two years on his deal, has repeatedly mentioned his love of London and gets to play the odd game of football here and there. With him off the wage book it would free up vast quantities of funds to Emery. But sod it, it won’t happen.
Interested Clubs: Nein
Rather underwhelming since being part of the swap deal that saw Alexis Sanchez move to Manchester United eighteen months ago, Emery is supposedly keen on shipping out the Armenian this summer.
While his performances on the pitch have left a lot to be desired at times, he’s performing well off it as he earns roughly £200k-per-week at the Emirates, unsurprisingly one of the club’s top earners.
Any potential fee would act as a profit for the Gunners, although his huge wages somewhat balance it out – while equally making him harder to sell.
Interested Clubs: AC Milan, Zenit Saint Petersburg
Rather remarkably, he was Fulham’s Player of the Season last term, with the club’s fans actually somewhat impressed with him in what was a dire campaign for the Cottagers.
He operated in both central defence and as a holding midfielder for the west London side, meaning he could provide some much-needed versatility to interested parties. His future at Arsenal looks bleak at best, therefore shipping out a home-grown player who is still only 24-years-old may allow that hideously meagre transfer budget to look slightly more enticing.
Interested Clubs: Promoted Premier League Sides
A peculiar signing when he made the move from Basel in 2016 for around £7m, and simply hasn’t been good enough in any of his four seasons at the club.
One of those players whose work rate can never be questioned, but at a side like Arsenal, talent is also somewhat important. Decent on his day, but nothing more, no tears would be shed across north London if the Egyptian left for new pastures.
Still only 26, the midfielder is a mainstay in the national side so boasts experience. However, as blunt as it may be,
Whatever transpires for Jenko during this summer, may he rest assured that his statue and subsequent renamed stand will be ready for his unveiling in the coming days. His legacy will live long, and his name forever ingrained into the fond memories of the unwavering, unfaltering and utterly infatuated Arsenal fanbase.
Nah, he’s s**t.
Moreover, he’s been scooping up £45k wages for two years in which he’s made FOUR Premier League appearances and has made absolutely zero impact on the pitch. It says a lot when your club offer you in a cash-plus-player deal in which you are one of four included players and the other club still say no.