An interesting week of transfer news so far. We attempt to round up some of the key stories flying around and let you know what we think.
Özil to Inter?
There’s a clear rift between Arsenal manager Unai Emery and Mesut Özil, with Emery saying that he would like Özil to leave in order to free up transfer funds. This is a BOLD thing to say when you think of the support the former-German international has from the Arsenal fanbase.
Tuttomercatoweb reported recently that Arsenal have attempted to offload Özil to Italian sides Juventus and Inter Milan. Although both clubs certainly have an interest in the talented number ten, they’re both unwilling to forfeit such a large quantity of their wage bill to accommodate Özil, who currently earns £350,000 a week with his current deal in North London.
There’s no doubt he has talent. 19 assists in the 2015/16 season is ridiculous, especially considering the sub-par finishing the Arsenal team at the time had. Now with Aubameyang and Lacazette, Özil has been frozen out the team and it’s showing. Arsenal have lacked creativity and some outside-the-box thinking. You’d have thought they’re looking for a player like the World Cup winner to unlock the door, so why not utilise him?
Leonardo Balerdi signs for Borussia Dortmund
The 19-year-old joins Die Borussen from Boca Juniors for a fee of €15m. Originally meant for the summer, the move was brought forward to January following injuries to Diallo, Zagadou and Akanji. This is a huge signal to Balerdi, who is now expected to start games for the Black and Yellow at least until they have sufficient centre-back cover.
The defender only played five times for Boca Juniors but has already shown that he possesses incredible talent for his age, featuring in Argentina’s U20 side. He’s strong and composed in one on one situations, his footballing IQ surpassing many of his counterparts. The Argentine’s quality of passing is astounding, perhaps allowing him to improve his versatility as a central defensive midfielder when needed.
At 6ft 1in, Balerdi looks the real deal, another shrewd move from the Borussia Dortmund scouting team. They always seem two steps ahead of everyone else.
Barcelona hunting for a Striker
After 8 years for the Blaugrana, coming through the youth system and going out on twice loan, Munir left the Nou Camp for Sevilla yesterday. With Luis Suarez as the only out and out striker in their squad, the Catalan club will need to bring in someone, who can play second fiddle to the Uruguayan.
Barcelona have reportedly shown an interest in both Fernando Llorente and Olivier Giroud. Both are currently backups at Tottenham and Chelsea respectively, but a move to Spain would definitely be an upgrade with yet another La Liga title looking likely for Ernesto Valverde’s side.
Other options are also be considered from the Premier League, with Javier Hernandez and Alvaro Morata (read about Morata to Barcelona here) coming into the discussion alongside Girona’s Christian Stuani. With the names they have been linked too, it seems like the Blaugrana are targeting someone who is good in the air, has experience and is willing to sit on the bench.
Yet one has to wonder why they put an option to buy in Paco Alcacer’s loan to Dortmund, where he has been sensational to say the least.
For more transfer rumours, articles and player profiles, follow us on Twitter @TasteofFtbl.