Rob’s Round-up: Buendia, Brandt, Ozil, Sokratis - Weekly Transfer Update #1
By Rob Worthington (Senior Writer)
Welcome back to Rob's Round-up. For those of you who didn't tune in to this series last Summer, as the title would suggest, in these articles I deliver a run-down of all the most significant Arsenal-related transfer news.
As the transfer window is open again for its Winter edition, the rumour mill is in full flow meaning weekly updates are required once more. Uncharacteristically, Arsenal have been swift in their business early in the window.
Both Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba have departed on short-term loan deals and 19-year-old centre-back Omar Rekik has linked up with the under-23 squad following his move from Hertha Berlin. Yet, media reports would suggest Arsenal intend to remain busy in the market for the remainder of the window.
Firstly, who could potentially join Arsenal before the February 1st deadline?
Transfer talk linking Emi Buendia to Arsenal has intensified considerably this week. According CBS Sports' James Benge, Norwich's creative maestro would push for a move to north London if Arsenal made a bid for him.
The Athletic's David Ornstein reports Buendia isn't at the "very top" of Arsenal's list regarding attacking midfield targets but he is a target and he has been scouted extensively. The Independent have revealed Arsenal could be interested in a "player-plus-cash deal" with Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson touted as potential makeweights.
However, it appears securing a deal to purchase the Argentine could be difficult for Arsenal. Firstly, the Gunners' are short of cash and arguably more of an obstacle is the fact Norwich have no interest in selling their star asset in the middle of a promotion charge. Ornstein straightforwardly stated yesterday Arsenal "aren't going to pay the reported £40m for him."
According to David Ornstein, another option for Arsenal in terms of a creative midfield recruit is Borussia Dortmund's Julian Brandt. Bild report BVB would be willing to listen to "lucrative" loan offers for the 24-year-old.
Earlier this week, Football.London's Arsenal correspondent Chris Wheatley suggested Brandt could be available for as little of €25 million. The German was outcasted by ex-Dortmund boss Lucien Favre prior to his departure and is yet to have won his place back for the German giants.
Ornstein's most recent update on the matter disclosed there haven't been any recent developments but that's not to "say it won't [develop]".
Arguably the biggest story of the January transfer window thus far concerns Mesut Özil's potential departure from Arsenal following over 7 years of service. Both Fenerbahçe and D.C United are believed to have courted the former German international.
This morning in his press conference, Mikel Arteta spoke candidly on the matter divulging that "If something is sorted this month it means it's good for both parties." Arteta believes a decision will be made on Özil's future "in the next few days."
Currently, it seems Turkey is the most likely destination for Özil. According to @TheAFCBell on Twitter, Fenerbahçe's offer is a six-month loan deal, an offer which satisfies Özil's camp. Özil's agent confirmed yesterday that negotiations "with clubs interested in [Özil's] services" have commenced.
After failing to secure a move for Sokratis in the Summer, and subsequently leaving him out of both the Europa League and Premier League squad, Arsenal appear desperate to move on the Greek international this January. Genoa and Fenerbahçe are beleived to be interested.
According to the reliable Fabrizio Romano, "Sokratis Papastathopoulos will decide soon his next destination" with it certain that "he's leaving Arsenal in the next weeks." The club which appear as Sokratis' most likely destination, Genoa, are also said to be interested in Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal are yet to have tied down Hale End academy graduate Folarin Balogun to a new deal. Mikel Arteta believes "The club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent."
As his contract expires in June, he is free to start negotiating with a potential permanent suitor. The Athletic's James McNicholas and David Ornstein revealed earlier today Balogun is close to signing a pre-contract agreement with an unnamed foreign club.