With the quite heartbreaking but hardly surprising news that Danny Welbeck could be out for the rest of the season (Daily Mail), Arsenal might be forced into something of a transfer rethink in January.
Just last month, head of football Raul Sanllehi said that he is “not a strong fan of the winter window”. He did however state that the club will always be “alert”, and that it can be used for “unexpected problems”. Such as their second top goalscorer being sidelined for months on end.
Scoff all you like, but the forward will need replacing. Every club needs a Daniel Nii Tackie Mensah Welbeck, and his five goals in all competitions this season have been bettered by only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (9) and Alexandre Lacazette (6). Who else is going to dominate the Europa League?
According to The Sun, Arsenal already have their replacement in mind. Their exclusive says that while Unai Emery wanted to wait until the summer to bring in any new faces, he ‘could be forced to step up’ his interest in one Nicolas Pepe.
Sven Mislintat, Arsenal’s head of recruitment, ‘has been keeping a close eye’ on the Lille winger, despite the fact he doesn’t play for Borussia Dortmund. But with Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Dortmund all interested in Pepe, he will cost any potential suitor.
The Sun pitch a price of £45m for the 23-year-old, and say Arsenal ‘will provide the funds for another striker if the manager deems it necessary’. Pepe has eight goals and seven assists in 12 league games this season, so he would be able to step straight in.
Losing Welbeck would undoubtedly be a blow. But is it really substantial enough to make your third biggest signing ever to replace him?
Yeah. <3 Welbz.<3
That didn’t last long. On Friday, The Sun were reporting an exclusive of Chelsea wanting to sign Callum Wilson for £35m. By Saturday morning, Eddie Howe has rubbished the rumour emphatically.
When asked whether he would entertain any such bids for England’s latest call-up, the Bournemouth manager replied: “Of course not.
“From my position, sitting here as the manager, I’m looking to build a team. I still feel we are a relatively new team with this group of players and the signings we made in the summer. I’m really pleased with how the squad is set up and the structure of it and I don’t want to break that.”
So that’s that.
AND THE REST
Manchester United’s 28-year-old Italy full-back Matteo Darmian is likely to leave the club in January, with Inter Milan and Roma interested… Huddersfield are set to make a move for Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton, 32, who has lost his place at Turf Moor to 31-year-old fellow Englishman Joe Hart… Manchester City and Barcelona look set to miss out on 19-year-old Ajax and Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt, who is likely to sign for Juventus… Liverpool and Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, 30, is a target for Patrick Vieira’s Nice.
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