David Ornstein posted an Arsenal update on Saturday morning, and there’s a lot to unpack as we head into the final few days of the transfer window.
Ornstein, one of the very few reliable journalists when it comes to Arsenal news, posted an update on Twitter and the BBC website on Saturday:
Arsenal have made an approach to sign Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic. #AFC want loan with £35m option to buy. 29yo open to #Inter exit. Fits plan of versatile midfielder e.g. Suarez (still possible) / Nkunku + winger. Unclear if injuries mean defender wanted but Sokratis not bad
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) January 26, 2019
The main new piece of information is that Arsenal are trying to sign Ivan Perisic. The Inter Milan winger would certainly add a lot of creativity to the team in wide areas, but at his age, it would definitely be preferable to loan first. That way, if it turns out it’s too late in Perisic’s career for a switch to the Premier League, The Gunners can let him go back.
The winger signed his current deal in September 2017, lasting until 2022, so there’s no pressure on Inter Milan to sell. However, it seems the player is “open to leaving”. Ornstein adds Inter ‘would be prepared to do business’ for between £35m and £40m.
As well as a wide player, Arsenal are trying to bring in a ‘versatile midfielder’, planning ahead for Aaron Ramsey leaving the club this summer. Most Gunners fans will be aware of the links to both Christopher Nkunku and Denis Suarez by now, but it’s interesting to learn that only one of the two is likely to join.
It certainly helps Arsenal’s bargaining position that they have two viable options for one position. There’s no need to get desperate and make a rash decision in either case.
The option to buy for both deals would likely be around £20m, meaning a potential £55m outlay this summer if both Nkunku/Suarez and Perisic impressed enough.
In Ornstein’s article on the BBC, he said only that it’s ‘unclear’ whether recent injuries will force Arsenal into the transfer market for a defender. Usually, the BBC man plays it safe with his transfer news though, so the fact he’s not completely ruling out a move probably means there’s still a fair possibility.
The problem is figuring out who Arsenal could actually attract to join at such short notice with no real budget set for permanent signings.
Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were both forced off the field with injuries on Friday. It seems Koscielny’s problem could be serious, with a possible broken jaw as the diagnosis. However, Ornstein suggests Sokratis is likely to be back soon, as his injury ‘is not thought to be serious’.
It would certainly be a boost to get the defender back before the trip to Manchester City next week.