Arsenal are looking around South America again and believe they’ve found an answer to some of their defensive problems in Gremio’s Walter Kannemann.
According to the Mail on Sunday, the Argentine has a £17m release clause and Arsenal are considering a move for him and/or his compatriot, Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico.
Arsenal currently have Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal at the club but it seems as if Nacho will be off in the summer which is why they are looking at Tagliafico.
Back in January, ESPN reported that the club had taken up the option to extend the full-back’s contract and that he would be staying for another year. Great news! We all thought. Nacho is a firm favourite at the club and his performances rarely let us down.
Around February, it started to seem odd to me that the club had still made no mention of the extension, so I wasn’t surprised to read in Friday’s Mundo Deportivo that they believe Nacho’s contract still ends this summer and he will be available on a Bosman – something that has Barcelona interested.
The 33-year-old has suffered a few injury problems this season but in terms of staying at the club as a back-up, I can’t think of a better option. That being said, perhaps Monreal doesn’t want to play that role and fancies a move to a club where he will be used regularly. Or just fancies a move back to Spain.
Barcelona hardly seems a likely destination for any playing ambition to be fulfilled at Nacho’s age, but that’s why MD are talking about him.
The Catalans, reportedly, want him for the left side of their defence as back-up to Jordi Abla. Well, he’s one of a few players they are considering but this isn’t the first time Monreal’s name has been linked with them over the past year.
“Filipe Luis, Alberto Moreno and Nacho Monreal are clear choices,” MD wrote. “In [the Barcelona]offices, [they] consider that [Nacho Monreal] fits the profile and in England [they] have echoed Barca’s interest. It is his seventh season in the Arsenal, a club he arrived at in 2012 from Malaga, and his contract ends this June 30. With experience in all types of terrain, the Navarro is 33 years old and would accept the role of substitute.”
Monreal has featured just 16 times this season in the Premier League for Arsenal with one goal and three assists.
In total, he has scored 10 goals for Arsenal since he arrived (with 13 assists) in 237 games.
He only turned 33 last month.
Kannemann, by contrast, recently turned 28 and could arrive at the club as a replacement for Mustafi (please, god!) or Laurent Koscielny who will no doubt be winding down his Arsenal career sooner rather than later.