Gossip: Arsenal eye £55.5m double swoop, Martial update

Matt Stead
during the UEFA Europa League Final match between FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and FC Sevilla on May 27, 2015 in Warsaw, Poland.

It may be September, but Arsenal have already identified their ‘first priority’ in terms of signings for January. And they have told The Sun, because they know the importance of sharing.

According to a Mike McGrath exclusive, the Gunners are looking to ‘add competition in midfield’ by signing Ever Banega. The midfielder has an £18million release clause in a contract that expires at the end of next season.

Banega is back at Sevilla after a brief spell with Inter Milan, and is certainly well-known to Unai Emery. He has featured 200 times under the Arsenal manager – more than any other player. So when The Sun say the pair ‘worked with’ each other, they bloody well mean it.

Emery did look into a move for his former midfield leader in the summer, but instead opted to sign Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi. With Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny the only other regular central midfielders behind a slew of attackers, the head coach seems to feel they need one more body. And Banega is a quite wonderful body.


In another piece of Arsenal transfer news, Boca Juniors striker Cristian Pavon ‘remains a target’. Well alright.

The Daily Star tell us that ‘transfer talks have been held’ with the club, who persuaded the 22-year-old to sign a new contract in the summer. That increased his release clause to £37.5m, so Arsenal have plenty of negotiating to do.

Raul Sanllehi, promoted at the Emirates Stadium ahead of Ivan Gazidis’ imminent departure, ‘is said to be the driving force’ behind signing Pavon. He ‘has strong contacts in South America’, and could look to use them to bring in the Argentina international. Because Arsenal definitely need more forwards.

Some fine timing from Calciomercato now, who claim that Inter Milan ‘are no longer following Anthony Martial’. Good job, because Manchester United might want him if he keeps doing Champions League goals.

They say that Inter ‘aren’t willing to sell’ Ivan Perisic either, which has basically scuppered any and all negotiations with United, who only entertained the idea of selling or loaning Martial if they received the Croatia winger in exchange.

‘The young winger still has a lot of time to revive his career and he will surely plunder sooner than later,’ they say, ‘but the question is: will it be with Manchester United or another team.’

Nice hypothetical question, lads. Now tell us why you’re rehashing news that the Daily Mirror had four days ago. Cheers.


Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City have joined Barcelona and Paris St-Germain in pursuit of Flamengo’s attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta. The 21-year-old is believed to have a £44m release clause… Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, 23, is being scouted by Manchester United after Southampton failed with a bid for the 23-year-old in the summer… Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Willian, 30, says he never planned on leaving Stamford Bridge this summer despite interest from Manchester United and Barcelona… Aston Villa and Watford are both considering summer moves for out-of-favour Chelsea defender Gary Cahill, 32, whose contract is up at the end of the season…