Most transfer rumours that come out around this time should be taken with a grain of salt. There are a number of publications out there not exactly renowned for their accuracy. It can be tough to sort through all the noise and identify which rumours have legs, but there’s reason to believe this latest transfer murmur involving Arsenal.
There has been a lot of talk surrounding the possibility that 23-year-old right back Hector Bellerin could be sold once the summer window opens. Manchester United have emerged as a leading suitor, and they would reportedly be willing to fork over £50 million to secure the rights to the talented Spaniard.
Wholesale changes at the Emirates could be in store for the summer. The Gunners remain in a good position to make an appearance in next season’s Champions League by way of winning the Europa League, but their Premier League form has been inconsistent at best.
Entering the international break, Arsenal sit sixth in the league on 48 points, eight points adrift of rivals Chelsea for fifth. At this point, you won’t find any sportsbooks with favorable odds for the Gunners’ chances of finishing in the top four. Most betting sites – some of which now even accept bets in Bitcoin – don’t even think Arsenal have a chance at catching Chelsea.
The potential sale of Bellerin would obviously bring the Gunners adequate financial windfall to help address other weak areas of the squad. One option for Arsenal could be out-of-favour United defender Matteo Darmian. According to Goal, Arsenal are monitoring Darmian’s situation and are prepared to make a swoop in the summer for the Italian international.
Arsene Wenger is reportedly a fan of Darmian despite the fact that the player has never been able to establish himself during his three-year stint in Manchester. Jose Mourinho has only called on Darmian to make 13 appearances in all competitions this season, and it’s evident that he is not in the manager’s future plans.
Darmian, 28, is under contract with United through next season. The Italian made the move to Old Trafford in the summer of 2015 for about £13 million after four strong seasons at Torino in Serie A. He has scored once in his 51 appearances to this point with the Red Devils.
Of course, the sale of Bellerin is no sure thing. In fact, some around the Emirates believe Wenger would be foolish to get rid of the promising young right back. Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has gone on record saying that Arsenal should reject the advances of United, Barcelona and other clubs circling the waters around Bellerin.
In an interview with talkSPORT, Parlour said, “I’d be amazed if Arsenal sold Bellerin. He’s still a young player, he’s still learning and he wants to learn. I still think defensively he has to get better, but he can get better. He’s not had the greatest of seasons and I think he’d be the first to admit that, but I do rate him a lot.”
Parlour added that he would not sell Bellerin, even for the reported fee of £50 million. That said, if the Gunners do find a new home for the Spaniard, don’t be surprised if Darmian’s name pops up as a natural replacement ahead of next season.
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