Fiorentina have reached a fee agreement with Empoli to sign former Gunner Ismael Bennacer this summer, according to reports.

Ismael Bennacer
Ismael Bennacer holding his Man of the Match award after Algeria’s 2-0 win over Kenya (Photo via Twitter / LeCoach40)

Alexis Bernard of Le10Sport originally reported that, after interest from Olympique Lyonnais in Bennacer, Fiorentina had taken the lead in the race for the midfielder’s signature.

The Serie A side have now reportedly agreed a fee for Bennacer’s transfer. Based on previous reports, Empoli were likely to sell for between €10m and €15m and it seems as if he’s gone for the lowest amount, €10m.

Arsenal have a matching clause in Bennacer’s contract, so if they want to re-sign him they only have to pay whatever fee Empoli have already agreed. If they reject that opportunity they’ll pick up 30% of his transfer fee thanks to a sell-on clause.

Bennacer had an excellent season, and he only seems to be getting better. Most recently he won the man-of-the-match award in both of Algeria’s opening AFCON fixtures, providing an assist and covering the entire midfield defensively as effectively as usual.

Ismael Bennacer
Ismael Bennacer in his sole appearance for the Arsenal first-team

Back in 2018, Bennacer left the door open to an Arsenal return, explaining that he’d only left because Arsene Wenger admitted there was too much competition in his position at the time.

“According to Arsène Wenger, there were many players in midfield at the club. I know I could have claimed a place, even if it’s difficult,” the youngster told Foot Mercato.

“But after that, I did not want to take chances and waste more time. I wanted to play and consistently. Who knows, maybe one day I will go back to Arsenal through the front door.

“There are several clauses in my contract. So there is a possibility that I will go back to Arsenal. Everything will depend on my evolution.”