Rob’s Round-up: Ozil, Balogun, Solomon, Heaton – Weekly Transfer Update #2
By Rob Worthington (Senior Writer)
The transfer news regarding Arsenal has been quite unbelievably slow over the course of the last week. Little movement seems to be occurring regarding both incomings and outgoings. With just under three weeks until deadline day you’d be hoping to see a bit more action in the market.
Frustratingly, concrete transfer talk linking Sokratis away from the club seems have cooled. Meanwhile, rumours suggestive of Arsenal interest in playmakers such as Emi Buendia and Julian Brandt which were prominent at the turn of the year have disappeared. The situation is unsettlingly reminiscent of the Summer transfer window.
Yet, with 19 days left of the January transfer window, there is still plenty of time for transfers to be completed. Here are all the latest rumours.
There have been very few concrete rumours linking Arsenal with potential incomings but Manor Solomon, a right-winger who plays for Shakhtar Donetsk, is a name that has popped up readily on social media this week. Arsenal are said to be interested in purchasing him in the Summer.
The Guardian report (yes, you know it’s a slow news week when I’m citing The Guardian), that Arsenal have held initial discussions with the player’s representatives. Manchester City were interested in signing the Israeli in 2017, a time when Mikel Arteta was working as Pep Guardiola’s assistant, so it’s likely that is where Arsenal’s interest in the 21-year-old derives from.
According to BirminghamLive (sorry, again), Arsenal are interested in signing Aston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton. The Englishman has failed to regain his spot between the sticks since his return from injury due to former Gunner Emi Martinez’ fine form and may be interested in a new project.
Mikel Arteta confirmed earlier this week he wants to find a ‘different solution’ regarding a back-up for Bernd Leno which has led to numerous ‘keepers being linked with a move to north London. The likes of Mat Ryan, Martin Dubravka and Fraser Forster have also been cited as potential acquisitions for Arsenal.
As for current goalkeeping understudy Runar Alex Runarsson, David Ornstein confirmed earlier this week via The Athletic that Arsenal were open to letting the Iceland international leave on loan.
The reliable @TransferChecker on Twitter confirmed earlier this week ‘Arsenal expect Mesut Özil and Sokratis to join Fenerbahçe by the weekend.’ The Turkish side’s sporting director Emre Belozoglu later revealed Özil was “closer than ever” to joining Fenerbahçe.
Belozoglu stated “We had a meeting with him and his manager” thus confirming talks have commenced. The Athletic’s David Ornstein recently disclosed Arsenal are negotiating with Özil concerning his potential departure with the German said to be willing to give up the remaining £7 million Arsenal owe him.
Academy graduate Folarin Balogun appears to be edging ever closer to a move away from Arsenal. The talented youngster is said by @TransferChecker on Twitter to have ’30 offers on the table’ in spite of the fact Arsenal ‘ideally want to keep’ him.
Following @TranferChecker’s report, Football Insider, the source which first leaked news of Rob Holding’s new contract and Matt Macey’s move to Hibernian, exclusively revealed Folarin Balogun has signed a pre-contract agreement with RB Leipzig. Nothing has been confirmed, but it appears the 19-year-old is leaving north London this Summer.
Shkodran Mustafi & David Luiz
Finally, a quick update on the contractual situations of Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz. In his press conference this morning, Mikel Arteta announced Mustafi’s “future right now is here,” with the German unlikely to leave this month due to the imminent departure of Sokratis and William Saliba’s loan move to Nice. He’s unlikely, however, to sign a new deal.
Concerning Luiz, Mikel Arteta insinuated a new contract isn’t out of the question. The Spaniard spoke glowingly of Luiz remarking how he is a “role model” for the “young kids.” When asked about a potential new deal, Arteta said “we will see what happens.”