Arsenal transfer news: Gunners’ four cheaper alternatives as Chelsea sign Mykhaylo Mudryk | Football | Sport
Arsenal have missed out on Mykhaylo Mudryk after Chelsea swooped on Saturday night to snatch the £88million Ukrainian. Arsenal’s London rivals met Shakhtar Donetsk’s valuation and Mudryk will sign a seven-year-plus contract to move to Stamford Bridge after the Gunners refused to match the Blues’ bid. Express Sport looks at four cheaper attackers Arsenal could sign this month instead.
Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach)
By far the cheapest available option, Bundesliga outfit Gladbach are said to be ready to cash in on Marcus Thuram – son of France legend Lilian – for as little as £9million this month. That’s because he’s out of contract at the end of the season.
Thuram Jr is 25 and played at the Qatar World Cup for France, including as a substitute in the final. He has 13 goals and four assists in just 17 matches for Gladbach this term having been the team’s centre-forward, though he can also play on the left wing.
Chelsea are another club keen on Thuram though their move for Mudryk surely takes them off the table, while Manchester United have yet to act on their interest. And the Frenchman could be a low-risk high-value asset for Mikel Arteta.
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Raphinha only swapped Leeds United for Barcelona in the summer at a cost of £55million but his move to the Nou Camp has not gone as he will have envisaged. He has produced three goals and five assists in 21 games thus far but has yet to truly settle.
Arsenal and Chelsea were among the other clubs keen in the summer, and reports from Spain have claimed Barca boss Xavi is already willing to sell the Brazilian winger, who shone at Leeds. Given their long-standing interest, the 26-year-old could well prop back up on Arsenal’s radar.
Decision-maker Edu made it clear in interviews in the summer that he is an admirer of Raphinha. And so if he truly is available now, the South American would surely pursue a move for his compatriot, maybe even on a loan-to-buy.
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Unai Emery wanted Wilfried Zaha at Arsenal in 2019 but got £72million flop Nicolas Pepe instead. Zaha has since produced 35 goals and nine assists in three-and-a-half seasons as Crystal Palace’s go-to forward.
But the Ivorian is out of contract this summer which raises the possibility of a low-price move for him this month. Though he is committed to the cause at Selhurst Park, Zaha might be tempted by the possibility of joining a team destined to be in next season’s Champions League.
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Zaha did just turn 30 in November but is versatile and offers a wealth of Premier League experience. The exact fee it would take to sign Zaha this month is unclear but a bid of £20m to £30m could test the Eagles’ resolve before January 31.
Ferran Torres (Barcelona)
Like Raphinha, Barca attacker Torres has already been slated as ‘for sale’. The Spain winger only joined from Manchester City for an initial £46.7m, with another £8.5m in add-ons, 12 months ago.
But the 22-year-old, who has five goals and an assists in 22 games this term, has only started six of their 16 La Liga matches this term. Arteta didn’t work with Torres at City but is said to be an admirer of his countryman’s talents.
And Torres – who can play across the frontline – could be another player who is depreciating elsewhere but one who could be much more effective under Arteta’s tutelage. There is still an abundance of talent to yield from Torres who is still only just older than Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.