Friday, August 11, 2023

Folarin Balogun hands Arsenal $66m transfer opportunity as Juventus hatch 'concerning' raid

Arsenal could be about to use two of their own to sign Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella.

 

Mikel Arteta is reportedly keen on adding a No.6 to his squad in the final weeks of the summer transfer window. Following the imminent arrival of goalkeeper David Raya, focus could be directed towards adding further quality to his options in midfield.

And according to Italian outlet CalcioMercato, the Gunners are ready to offer both Folarin Balogun and Takehiro Tomiyasu in an attempt to bring Barella to the Premier League. They are also said to be prepared to include cash as part of their efforts.

 

Inter have long been interested in Balogun, seeing two approaches turned down already. Arsenal’s £50million valuation of the USMNT star has left them short, but a swap deal for Barella could entice them.

 

Gunners247 says: Now this is a deal we can get behind. Barella was superb in Inter’s run to the Champions League final last season and is a player I’ve always been impressed with whenever I’ve watched it.

 

Newcastle were said to be close to signing the Italian earlier in the window, but instead got Sandro Tonali instead meaning the door remained open. Inter’s financial difficulties mean they could be forced to accept the deal – especially if they’re going to land their number one target in Balogun.

 

The striker is all but certain to leave the club this summer due to the number of players ahead of him. A move to Serie A would be a good move for him, a fresh start to continue his development. The deal makes sense for everyone.

 

Elsewhere, another player who could be out the door in north London is Thomas Partey. The 30-year-old had been strongly linked with an exit earlier in the summer window, with interest from Saudi Arabia and Juventus.

 

He has since emerged as a strong contender to start in Arsenal’s Premier League opener with Nottingham Forest on Saturday. However, Gianluca Di Marzio has hinted that Denis Zakaria’s move to Monaco from Juventus could result in Partey moving to Italy.

Speaking to wettfreunde.net, he said: “Juventus talked to Partey and his agents a month ago and again in recent days once they understood that Frank Kessie went to Al-Ahli. Now Juventus want him but they will focus on Thomas if they sell Zakaria to Monaco and other young midfielders like Miretti.

 

“They understand that the timing of Pogba coming back may be a little while so they will only sign a new midfielder once they know how long it will take for Pogba to return. The player is not blocked from Juventus. They know they can get him if they want.”

 

football.london says: It’s funny how transfer deals just fall into place. If Barella comes to Arsenal and Partey goes to Juventus, the Gunners have solved an issue very, very swiftly.

 

The aim is, obviously, to have substantial quality in the ranks in each position. Having both Partey and Barella means Arsenal have two of the best No.6’s in football. However, it could be very different.

 

It’s important to remember that opinions are everywhere in football and in my opinion, Arsenal can’t allow Partey to leave – even with Barella coming in. It would leave them short in the defensive midfield position and a move for Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo is all but off the cards.

 

Should Juventus make a move for Arsenal, sporting director Edu Gaspar will be concerned. If the offer is too good to turn down, it will be a long wait for Partey to make a decision.

 

A surprise saga, it’ll be interesting how this plays out.

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