Convincing the player himself is the last big obstacle standing in the way of Arsenal signing Ever Banega from Sevilla, according to reports in Italy.
Sky Sports in Italy report that Banega’s €20m release clause with the Spanish club won’t be a big issue for Arsenal. They say the ‘real obstacle’ is that the player is happy in Seville, and would need convincing to leave and take on a new adventure.
If there’s anyone who can convince the player to leave a club where he’s happy, and to uproot his family, it’s Unai Emery. The majority of the best years of Banega’s career came under the new Arsenal head coach.
First, the player was a key member of Emery’s Valencia team, only falling out of the line-up after breaking his leg in the coach’s final year. Then, he followed the Arsenal boss to Sevilla, where he had another two good years before leaving at the same time as Emery.
After a year away, Banega returned to the Spanish club, but perhaps his former manager could convince him to reunite for a third time in North London this summer.
It won’t be easy, particularly after Banega’s last departure from Spain barely lasted a year. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.