Calhanoglu targeted by Arsenal as Buendia alternative

James Holland
Arsenal Hakan Calhanoglu F365

Arsenal are reportedly plotting a move for AC Milan star Hakan Calhanoglu after failing to land Emi Buendia.

The Championship’s Player of the Year is close to joining Aston Villa in a £35million deal.

He was Arsenal’s top target in the central attacking midfield role, meaning they’re now looking at alternative playmakers.

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According to CBS Sports (via Mirror), Calhanoglu is one option they’re considering.

The Turkey international is available on a free transfer as his Milan contract expires at the end of June.

He’s apparently been put on Mikel Arteta’s transfer wish list ahead of the summer window.

The 27-year-old has just finished a great campaign with the Italian side. He registered four goals and 10 assists in 33 matches, helping Milan to their highest Serie A finish in nine years.

Gunners chiefs hope the player can fill their creative void. Martin Odegaard was a temporary solution in 2020/21, but the Norwegian has now returned to Real Madrid.

He has been linked with a £52million move, although any transfer will now depend on the wishes of new Real boss Carlo Ancelotti.

One potential stumbling block for Arsenal in their Calhanoglu pursuit is interest from Premier League rivals.

Manchester United have long been linked with the player’s signature and could soon submit an offer.

Towards the end of May, Liverpool ‘entered talks’ with him about a switch to Anfield.

Calhanoglu is an experienced attacking midfielder who could help Arteta’s side massively next term, if they get a deal over the line.

With him and Emile Smith Rowe going forward, talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would likely receive plenty of service.

Calhanoglu has scored and assisted at every club he has been, and that would surely continue at the Emirates.

He isn’t the only player to be linked with the north London side. Yves Bissouma could be brought in to play alongside Thomas Partey in central midfield.

The 24-year-old is just coming off the back of an excellent campaign with Brighton, where he was one of their best players.

The Seagulls value Bissouma at around £40million, while Arsenal are more likely to pay £30million.