Gossip: Arsenal to blow the budget and go Under?

Ian Watson
Newcastle United

Cengiz Under is causing quite the stir. The Turkish forward looks like he could be the next big sale out of Roma, with a host of clubs queuing up for the 21–year-old.

Bayern Munich and Tottenham are credited with an interest in Under but a report in Italy claims Arsenal are in ‘pole position’ to sign the young talent.

Our scepticism is three-fold. Under will cost around £52million to prise away from Roma, who are said to be willing to do business but only at the €60million mark because the player’s former club Istanbul Basaksehir are due 20 per cent of any sale figure.

It was reported on Thursday that Unai Emery will have around £40million to spend next summer and their thriftiness as already seen contract talks with Aaron Ramsey abruptly halted. If Emery wants Under, that’s the budget blown.

And it’s hardly as though Arsenal are struggling for forwards. Under tends to play off the right wing, and Emery’s priorities are more urgent elsewhere in his squad.

One report suggests Arsenal have already failed in a €30million bid, which is way below Roma’s valuation. Bayern are also keen and their need is greater with Kingsley Coman crocked, while Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are both close to qualifying for a buss pass.

Then there is the possibility that we’re all being played. Under is happy in Rome with talks said to be commencing over an improved contract and it has to be said that these links with other European big-hitters come at a very convenient time.

Chelsea have surprised themselves this season. Maurizio Sarri said before a win and a draw against Liverpool that he needed a year to get the Blues to the Reds’ level but he quickly changed tack. It seems the board are doing similar, and it is prompting them to get busy in January.

It seems the club have concluded that Alvaro Morata is never likely to be the 20-goal striker they need, especially if they are to mount an unexpected title challenge this season. So The Sun reckons Chelsea will look to the market in January.

Their story suggests two targets: a marquee name, Mauro Icardi; and AC Milan’s Patrick Cutrone as a cheaper option.

Inter would expect around £90million for Icardi, who has five goals in eight games already this season. If that’s more than Roman Abramovic is willing to fork out then Cutrone will supposedly fetch around £25million.

If Chelsea are looking for a forward to lead an immediate title charge, then Cutrone would be a curious choice. The 20-year-old is a rising star in Italy but he hasn’t started a Serie A game this season for Milan. He hasn’t yet played more than 20 minutes in the league this term and the sum total of his Serie A experience is 17 starts and 17 substitute appearances.

Anthony Martial remains intent on leaving Man Utd…Manchester City are in contract talks with Leroy Sane… Real Madrid are reportedly prepared to sell Marco Asensio…Alex Sandro is yet to reach an agreement to renew his contract with Juventus…Barcelona director of football Eric Abidal is preparing a short-term defensive signing should Samuel Umtiti require surgery on his knee injury…Ben Chilwell is in ongoing contract negotiations with Leicester.