Arsenal transfer: Locatelli deal, Calhanoglu comments and Willock boost
Having failed to qualify for European football for the first time since 1995, Arsenal are looking to make moves in the summer transfer market.
Mikel Arteta seemingly has the backing of the Gunners board and the Emirates could be with incoming over the next few months to get fans excited.
Some outgoings will no-doubt also grab the headlines as the Spanish boss looks to fund his rebuild and move on from a season which saw them finish 8th in the Premier League.
A lot of movement could be in the midfield, a department chopped and changed in recent years.
Here, FootballAudit rounds up the latest transfer news from the Emirates.
Looking at Locatelli
Multiple reports are suggesting Arsenal are keeping tabs on Italian midfielder Manuel Locatelli.
He currently plies his trade for Sassuolo in Serie A and started for Italy in their EURO 2020 opening game win over Turkey on Friday.
Manchester City, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, and Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be interested but Gunners technical director Edu would be interested in engineering a deal for the 23-year-old, who was let go by AC Milan in 2019.
A real defensive-minded all-rounder, Locatelli is understandably highly rated by his current club, who’d reportedly want around £34m to let him go, and it could be more if he impresses for the Azzurri during the ongoing European Championships.
Toon boost for Willock
Steve Bruce has been given some backing to bring Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock back to St. James’ Park this summer according to The Sun.
Owner Mike Ashley has reportedly handed the Newcastle United boss a £50m war chest to spend.
Willock spent the second half of 2020-21 in the north-east, scoring a goal in seven successive matches until the end of the season.
The Gunners could demand as much as £30m for the 21-year-old, who became crucial to the Magpies’ late survival surge.
With Granit Xhaka set to depart for Roma in the coming weeks and Dani Ceballos returning to parent club Real Madrid, Arteta’s midfield could look light if Willock is also sold.
With the Gunners wanting to make Martin Odegaard’s stay at the Emirates permanent after a promising loan spell last term, Edu and co are unsurprisingly look at alternatives.
One of those could be AC Milan playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu, whose contract is currently set to expire at the end of the month, after Sky Sport Italia reported interest in April.
The Turkey international also started the aforementioned Euros opener, and while on punditry duty for BBC One on Friday, former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas commented on the creator.
Speaking prior to the match, Fabregas said: “He follows the game, he understands it.
“In football nowadays, you need a little bit of that because it’s become a little bit robotic.
“He comes into half-spaces, he’s not afraid to shoot, another thing in football I think we’re losing a little bit is from outside the box.
“He’s got a fantastic delivery in him.”
Calhanoglu himself said ahead of the tournament curtain-raiser: “I wish to focus on Turkey.
“I have great respect for Ricky Massara [Milan’s director of football] and Maldini, and if something does come to pass, then I will talk to them.”