Rob's Round-Up: Gabriel, Partey, Ceballos, Sokratis - Weekly Transfer Update #3
By Rob Worthington (Senior Writer)
After we confirmed our first signing of the Summer, Willian, a free transfer from Chelsea, rumours concerning incomings and outgoings have intensified. Edu’s announcement that “with Willian, we've started a big process," indicates that there must be some truth behind the countless rumours. It’s set to be an incredibly busy transfer window for Edu and his technical team.
Finally, it seems that a deal to bring Gabriel to North London is all but confirmed. Last night, the reliable @TransferChecker and @GoonerTalk announced on Twitter that Arsenal have beaten Napoli in the race to sign the Brazilian. The Telegraph’s Jason Burt went on to verify this proclamation a few hours later and also certified the fact that Gabriel is set to sign a 5-year-contract with us.
Due to issues concerning the coronavirus, The Mirror believe that the medical, which is taking place today, will occur in France rather than here in the UK. As such, there could be delays regarding announcements but it seems the transfer is as good as done. @GoonerTalk suggested that Arsenal’s willingness to pay a large portion of the £27 million fee up front put us in pole position to sign the centre-back.
It seems a deal to bring in long term target Thomas Partey is also nearing completion. @TheAFCBell on Twitter appear to be completely confident that Partey will be joining Arsenal this Summer after he agreed a 4-year-contract with us. Arsenal are set to trigger the Ghanaian’s €50 million release clause in order to purchase the player.
@TheAFCBell believe that the player will be unveiled by as an Arsenal player by early September at the latest. However, the only other vaguely reliable source to have suggested this deal is almost done is the Mail’s Sami Mokbel, so I’d take these rumours with a pinch of salt if I were you. Despite @TransferChecker suggesting last week that this deal will be completed at some point, it could still be some way off. Have patience.
According to Sky Sports News, talks are ongoing between Arsenal and Real Madrid regarding another loan move for Dani Ceballos. The idea is that Ceballos will join us for another season long-loan and then we could perhaps sign him permanently next Summer. This is to ensure we have enough money to sign our primary targets in this window.
It’s been suggested that there is an obstacle with regards to reaching the deal concerning the obligation/option to buy clause. Real Madrid want to know that Arsenal will purchase the player next Summer, while we want to keep our options open. Reports have insinuated that Ceballos will initially join Real for pre-season until an agreement is reached.
Various publications, such as The Telegraph, have indicated that Sokratis will be shifted off to Napoli after the Italian side failed to land the signature of Gabriel earlier this week. The Naples based side see Sokratis as an excellent partner for his compatriot Kostas Manolas.
Nonetheless, it seems that such a deal is some way away from completion. Napoli are still keeping their options open and it’s likely that they’d prefer to bring in a player who specialises at playing in the LCB role, amid the impending departure of Kalidou Koulibaly. Sokratis’ high wage could also be an issue. Roma also reportedly hold an interest in Sokratis, who they view as an alternative to Chris Smalling.
Despite a rather strange report from Mail Sport that Tottenham are interested in him, @GoonerTalk on Twitter has boldly proclaimed that Ainsley Maitland-Niles is now happy to stay at Arsenal beyond this Summer transfer window. This news comes amid countless reports of the versatile Englishman’s desire to leave Arsenal this Summer in order to search for guaranteed first-team football.
Nonetheless, it appears after discussions were held with the 22-year-old, Mikel Arteta has persuaded him to stay put for the time being. After some positive displays towards the end of the season, Arteta grew desperate to keep him in his team and it looks like his wish has been granted.
After an impressive end to the season, external interest in Emi Martinez has understandably increased tenfold. Our longest serving player announced last week that he “doesn’t want to go back to the bench,” so it seems that Bernd Leno will have a battle on his hands to keep hold of his number 1 shirt at Arsenal.
Marca announced last week that 10 clubs across Europe hold an interested in the Argentine. During a time when Arsenal are somewhat short of cash, selling either Leno or Martinez could be an astute move business-wise. Nonetheless, after both enjoying great seasons, neither deserve to be forced out of the club. Mikel Arteta has been confronted with a huge dilemma due to Martinez’s brilliant form.
Till next time
I’d be prepared for a busy week in terms of transfer rumours, so do keep an eye out for what’s going. I’d certainly expect a certain transfer to be confirmed, along with a contract extension announcement so this could be a big week for Arsenal. Carry on enjoying transfer season everybody.