Arsenal are being linked with a move for Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, but they could have a much bigger problem on their hands than meeting the Slovenian’s buy-out clause after reports in Spain claimed that both Mesut Özil and former Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria are looking to return to Real Madrid.
The Gunners already have a leading goalkeeper in Petr Cech, and the prospect of them meeting Oblak’s £85m release clause looks to be almost non-existent given that there is no guarantee that he would start ahead of the current Arsenal No 1.
However, Goal claim that Arsenal are maintaining their interest in Oblak with Wenger a known fan of the 23-year-old, and will look to negotiate a lower fee if Atletico become willing to discuss a possible transfer, despite their stance over the last two years remaining one of resistance to any offers.
While Oblak looks like a long-term target, something that will crop up much larger on the Arsenal radar is the future of star midfielder Özil, who along with Alexis Sanchez is the north London club’s most influential player.
According to Spanish daily newspaper Marca, both Özil and Di Maria, who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain after his dismal spell at United, are keen on a return to the current European champions Real after leaving them in the last few years. Özil left Spain in 2013 to join Arsenal while Di Maria left a year later to head to Old Trafford where he endured a nightmare season.
Özil is currently in contract talks with Arsenal as his current deal only has 19 months left to run on it, and the club are determined not to allow the World Cup winner to enter the final year without reaching a renewal agreement.
Reports in Italy suggest Tottenham’s record signing, Moussa Sissoko, could be offered a quick exit out of the club after both Juventus and Inter Milan renewed their interest in the France midfielder. Sissoko has been involved in a verbal dispute with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino in recent weeks, despite only joining the club in a £30m club-record deal from Newcastle at the end of August.
Calciomercato claim that the two Italian clubs are still interest in the 27-year-old after they missed out on his signature in the summer due to Newcastle’s large asking price, and they are believed to be eyeing up a move in the summer transfer window next year if he has not solidified his place at Spurs.
Another Premier League player potentially heading to Italy is Chelsea veteran Branislav Ivanovic, with the Serbia defender out of contract at the end of the season. With the Blues yet to give Ivanovic any hint over if he will be offered a new deal, The Telegraph report that Juventus are considering moving for him in January, when they can open talks about a free transfer in the summer.
Ivanovic has fallen out of Chelsea’s first-team under Antonio Conte, with his switch to a 3-4-3 formation seeing the Serb drop to the substitutes’ bench along with club captain John Terry.
Finally, Manchester United believe they will receive offers in January for up to 10 players as Jose Mourinho continues to adapt their squad to his liking, according to the Manchester Evening News. With 27 first-team players available to Mourinho, a number of big names are missing out on regular football, with the likes of Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin likely to be heading for the Old Trafford exit.
However, they could be joined by a number of teammates if offers arrive for them, with Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young and Sam Johnstone all linked with moves elsewhere. Bastian Schweinsteiger is also expected to leave the club after being frozen out by Mourinho, and a move to the MLS appears to be the most likely option with rumours of an imminent deal with Chicago Fire circulating.
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