Arsenal are being linked with moves for Germany internationals Benedikt Höwedes and Karim Bellarabi.
Rumours such as these are sure to start popping up with the January transfer window just about on the horizon, so let’s see if there’s anything in them.
First things first, they’re being reported by SportBild (per Sport Witness), hardly the most reliable outlet in Germany. Tabloid newspaper Bild release a weekly sports magazine which pretty much has the sort of content you’d expect Bild to produce. Thanks to Liverpool spending big money on Roberto Firmino (and other deals around the country, like Abdul Rahman Baba to Chelsea) they seem convinced everyone in England will splash a load of cash on German products.
On Höwedes, we can be pretty sure there isn’t anything serious. According to Sport Witness a clause in Höwedes’ contract means he’d be available for €10m or so in the summer, but a similar clause expired last summer. Even still, Arsenal have two left-backs, Héctor Bellerín at right-back (assuming Mathieu Debuchy forces his way out) and four senior centre-backs. A move for another defender seems far from likely.
Karim Bellarabi would be an interesting transfer, with Arsenal arguably a tad light in the ‘wide player’ section of the squad. Injuries have left us looking bare lately, while wide options Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere all prefer playing centrally.
Since becoming a regular in the Bayer Leverkusen side last season, the 25-year-old has scored 14 Bundesliga goals and broken into the Germany squad to win 10 caps for his country. According to Rudi Völler, the Bayer Leverkusen sporting director, Bellarabi’s current contract doesn’t have a release clause so any transfer would be costly.
The overwhelming likelihood is that SportBild are creating stories, thanks to the current Germans at Arsenal and the TV money making a deal seem somewhat realistic. However, there doesn’t seem to be anything concrete and perhaps the agents are just trying to stir interest or earn new contracts for their clients. A move to north London anytime soon is not something I would bet on.