Saturday, February 24, 2024

Report: Arsenal edging Ever closer to Banega deal

According to Spanish journalist Kike Marin, Ivan Gazidis held a meeting with Ever Banega’s representatives in London this weekend as Arsenal close in on a €20 million deal for the Argentina international.

Unai Emery worked with the midfielder at both Valencia and Sevilla and is thought to be pushing for the deal to be completed – he’s even given the player a call – as he looks to bolster his midfield options following Jack Wilshere’s decision to leave the club.

The hugely experienced 29-year-old – he’s won the Copa Libertadores with Boca Juniors and the Europa League twice with Sevilla – is currently at the World Cup but could be free to complete a move sooner rather than later given his country’s travails in Russia.

He’s been something of a nomad in recent seasons, departing Sevilla to join Inter Milan on a free before returning to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan after just 13 months. He went on to make over 50 appearances last campaign in a side that finished seventh.

If it sounds surprising that he’d choose to move again so soon, it could be down to a ‘change in direction’ at the club that has angered him. That’s according to regional paper Estadio Deportivo, as translated by Sport Witness.

Arsenal have already signed right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner and goalkeeper Bernd Leno and are expected to announce the arrival of defender Sokratis midfielder Lucas Torreira in the coming weeks. Splashing another €20 million would certainly be a statement of intent ahead of the start of pre-season training.

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*Sees Matteo Kovacic wants to move*
*Sees us going for Ever Banega*

But in all seriousness I don’t know if we’re in for him. Were it no Arseblog publishing the reports I’d have not paid any attention to this one at all.


Nobody credible seems to be reporting this, at least nobody I’ve heard of

Lots of reports of Golovin and Nzoni going round too but they just seem like blatant lies


Where’s the pool meter when you need it


Poo even


To be fair, Kike Marin has been pretty reliable when it comes to Arsenal transfers in the last few months – he called both Aubameyang and Leno a few weeks before most most and he has been adamant in the Banega story for some time now.

He’s no “Ornacle” (yet) but if he’s right about this one too, I’ll be a believer.


I’m not sure if Arseblog has a rule against posting links to other sites, but for the sake of reference:


I can believe it. He’s a player that Emery is obviously familiar with and that has performed well for him, and would seemingly add some technical ability and steel to the midfield at a reasonable price.

Another good short term injection of quality to shore up the holes in the squad in advance of a longer project to get us back into true contention.


And what a beautiful pass tonight! Imagine Auba zooming onto one of those


@Arsenic on twitter has been reporting on thisnfor a while now. Very reliable. Seems in the balance, his family are settled in Seville. We will see i suppose. I like Lichsteiner for the experience, will help Bellerin. Sokratis, experienced CB seems solid. Torriera seems a steal for 20m, 22year old Kante type, can play too. Leno, almost a copy of Szecezny, alot of potential, talk of mental issues more.than technical. Hopefully it works out for us. So far so good. Although a marquee signing of some sort is needed. Soyuncu would be a great buy. I expect Ospina, Chambers/Mustafi, Campbell… Read more »


Chambers has just signed a new contract and on the form shown at the end of last season he looks the part so I cannot see him being sold. For the record Torreira will cos £30m

John Lavery

Ivan Perisic, what a player.


Marca is reporting that Real see Kovacic as a natural replacement for Modric and are not willling to let him go unless someone pays his 300mil release clause. So there’s that…


Our squad in terms of attributes has been extremely lopsided for a very long time, we now seem to be addressing this issue.
But something has got to give, and I hope we’re not looking to move on Rambo.


Banega is supposed to be able to play multiple positions, maybe that’s why Emery wants him

food for thought

that’s precisely my worry when i hear talks of signing him.

Bould's Eyeliner

Well Wilshere and Cazorla makes room (if not $$), so Torreira and Banega to slot in those spots sounds pretty freaking exciting.

Faisal Narrage

The talk is that he would play behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1. It begs 2 questions, if true, which are; 1. Does this mean Ramsey is off? (Considering he has 1 year left, has had a 1-to-1 with Emery as everyone who’s not at the WC has, and there’s no talk of him signing, surely he’s gotta be off). 2. What’s the deal with Ozil? Quite frankly, if we’re not gonna play him as a no.10 (and Emery may have concerns of his work rate in a high-pressing midfield), I don’t want to see him as a winger and… Read more »


Is he a real 10? And if he’s better at being at 10 than Ozil and Mikhi why have I never heard of him before? ? And is Arsenal a team whose 10 is a 17.5m player?

Or maybe… we plan on using him as a CM.


Really, u never heard o him??? I guess u prefer water polo to football…!


Or maybe we plan on having actual depth in our team? I think we got used to the fact that every signing we had made had to fit into our starting XI. The best teams operate by making signings that fit into their top XI, yes, but also depth signings. Every team needs solid depth.

Roof attack

Spoken like a true gooner. EVER the optimist.

Faisal Narrage

I’m a pessimist because I think Ramsey is going? Listen, I’d love for Rambo to stay, but I think you’re being utter naïve if the signs aren’t looking too good. I’m guessing you also though Jack was staying a few weeks ago? Ramsey has effectively confirmed he’s had his 1 on 1 with Emery, as the likes of Jack and AMN have. There’s been no smoke of him signing, and it’s been clear that we’ve tabled an offer for a while now. He hasn’t signed yet considering he’s not at the World Cup, and no way is that not something… Read more »

Merlin's Panini

I don’t expect we’ll move Ramsey on, yet. I think it depends on where we are and if he’s getting regular game time come January. I suspect if he’s not happy we might take an offer then.
I think the signings we are possibly making would ensure there is damage limitation and there are options should he decide he wants to leave.

Bould's Eyeliner

Maybe it’s more about Real Madrid being always kind of interested in him that’s got me thinking here, but if Rambo decides to leave, it’s not really in our hands anymore.


Wouldn’t it be amazing if we were to swap Rambo for Kovacic? I would personally be happy with that bit of business

Faisal Narrage

In Jan he can sign a pre agreement. Why would he scupper that? He’ll have even more interest then.

Sanchez deal was a one off. If we sell, we sell now, not with 6 months left.


cant argue with that, those that thumbs down the comment, look at arsenal through rose tinted glasses, they don’t see whats really going on at arsenal


That’s just silly talk there from u mate…!


I rest my case


I think we are going to see some sales. People won’t like to hear it so I won’t be naming names (and I don’t know anything anyway).


I’m worried about Ramsey leaving too, but Mkhi and Ozil are both better No. 10’s than Banega.

Faisal Narrage

I agree. My comments, as I made clear that IF TRUE, is based on the assumption that it’s true that he’s wanted as a no.10, and it seems there is some clear fire going on. Makes no sense to me. I know Andrew of Arseblog thinks we’re not stacked enough in midfield, but I’m not sure I agree. If we consider the midfield as the 2-man role (as for 10 we basically have 2-3 people who can play that role), for 2-positions we have; Xhaka Elneny Torreira AMN Ramsey* Remove Ramsey and that’s potentially 4 legit first teamers competing for… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

I wouldn’t worry about it Faisal. Your arguments are fully justifiable given what we know–people are upset at the possibility that it may be true, rather than not. Sometimes people just don’t want to hear it, especially if it’s out of their hands too. Can’t really fault that. But, still, this is the consequence of losing Wenger, and gaining Emery. Can’t have it both ways–a manager regime change will always mean a personnel change too, when a club has resources like Arsenal. We may lose Ramsey, we may not, but what’s clear is that this season is going to be… Read more »

Faisal Narrage



AMN is not comfortable as a full back so I doubt that will happen. I also can’t see them letting Elneny leave.

Buzzy Gurkha

Some bastardly blood in our team then. WE will be 50 % more Bastardly


1000% more


yeah, and playing with nine men, just what we want


afan, I’m convinced you are not a real Arsenal fan, but an instigator. This is one of your simplest comments, but it has exposed you. What was the point of saying that? It had neither substance or value.


Just a troll


that makes TWO of us


I think it is too much money!


I really hope this doesn’t mean we pull out of the Torreira deal. If we get Banega and Torreira we will also have Granit, Ramsey (if he signs), Elneny and Niles in CM. That’s overcrowded, even for a midfield three. Maybe Emery is trying to bin one?


yeah, ozil with a bit of luck

Roof attack

EVER the experienced midfielder.


I signed this guy in my Football Manager save in 2014 or prior versions I forgot, he was a beast.

Arsene Terthadragon

Oh good, I was worried for a second.

Wenger's Coq

‘Football manager’ ?


Got him in fm2008, he’s awesome in a 3 man midfield!


I Played Mario Bros when I was 14 which makes Banega an excellent signing!

Thomas B

If we buy this guy I think he will play in one of those deep midfield positions. He is a bit like Santi and can dictate the tempo of the game and I think he would be a really good fit for us.


statement of intent, splashing the cash, oh my word, it doesn,t mean a thing, but I wont pass judgement just yet, I will give the team a chance


I’d actually be very happy, if we got him…


So far based on transfers, we are probably looking at 4-3-3 formation choices.
Possibly: Xhaka as DM with Torreira as a sub, Ramsey and Banega as CMs side by side.
Ozil? I think he’ll play on the wings with Mkhitaryan rotated between CM and flank. And a possible new winger (I hope). Aupa upfront is a given, Laca his sub.


The reason that Torreira is imminent is to be a DM and allow Xhaka to play in his true position as a deep lying midfielder. Why spend £30 million on proper DM and make him a sub

Jimbo Jones

Thank Dennis someone brought some sense to what was quickly spiralling down into a hole. Torreira is a proper DM, breaks up play, intercepts and can actually play a bit too. Think Kante. Are we really goibg to be overloaded in midfield?. Id be surprised if we don’t play with 3 in the middle. IF all these rumours are true then we choose from: Torreira and AMN for DM. Xhaka, Elneny, Rambo, Benega for two CM spots. Actually that feels about right if we want to compete in all competitions, 6 players for 3 positions. They are not all superstars,… Read more »


If this is an actual thing then I’ve no idea what’s going on.

Ramsey signs? Lucas Torreira signs? Banega signs? Wilshere doesn’t.

OK. We strengthen by numbers. But how do we accommodate Ramsey, Torreira, Banega, and Xhaka? Because both Torreira and Banega would, you’d think, expect to be starters?

In the past expectations would be one rather than both. But form is now out of the window. A 29-year-old Argentine and a 22-year old Uruguayan the Saturday after Copa-America qualifying week?


“But how do we accommodate Ramsey, Torreira, Banega, and Xhaka?”

I’ll add El Neny and Maitland Niles to the list but, it is not my job. It’s Emery’s job and i’d like to think that the players should have no choice but to compete.

The question for me is not whether Banega can be accomodated or not. The real question is whether the guys who come in are top quality and will they close the gap between us and Man City in the league?


‘How do we accommodate them’? We don’t. One of them doesn’t make the starting xi, and that’s the way it should be. There’s plenty of games for them to show their worth and prove they deserve to start. Having said that, I have to admit Banega does feel a bit unnecessary if Torreira’s coming in. Especially considering that would be more funds gone from our supposedly limited transfer budget, with other areas of the pitch that are in much greater need of addressing (namely central defence and a genuine wide player).

Arse City Blues

I agree with all that Sean, apart from CB will be full if we get the Sock. I suppose if Mustafi goes, he would need replacing.


I’d be over the moon if we can bring Giroud back as he got his wish to play in the world cup and now he has only a year left in his contract.

We don’t have a guy who can give us that plan b at CF.
Plus I feel Giroud is one of those guys who get better with age.
A good 3 year deal for Oli may convince him to push for a move back. We don’t guarantee playing time but we guarantee a decent contract.
His attributes are invaluable.


We have 2 strikers who are far superior to Giroud who’s a good player but very inconsistent but not clinical enough. His atttributes were good but not invaluable


I would put Welbeck, Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Ramsey in CM/CAM/Winger/False 9 category. Giroud, Auba and Laca will come in CF/ST/Second Striker category. Xhaka, Torreira,El Neny and Maitland Niles in CM/CDM category. I would maybe sacrifice Lucas Perez and Joel Campbell and bring in another good CM to compete in this category since we lost Wilshere and Cazorla. It looks like we have addressed the issues with CB,RB and GK with Sokratis, Stephan and Leno. If we go for 1 more experienced CB then one of Holding, Chambers, Mavropanos will have to go on loan. Koscielny is done as far as… Read more »


I really want to like this guy.

Unai clearly thinks his influence on and off the pitch would help our transformation.
As an older signing again he represents the shift to chasing immediate success -the opposite of wenger. This in itself is what will make next season interesting.

Does anyone know how he could fit in? I know very little about him.

Easy tiger

We sign alot of old players these days.


He is a good solid player but nothing to set the world on fire. Delighted with our recruit so far and prospect to add Torreira but I’d like a spark in midfield Fekir style, a player capable on passing players, we currently don’t have any dribbler.


I met a couple of Spanish chaps named Ever a few years back during a work trip. They were arguing over the unnecessarily ambiguous pictures on the bathroom doors in a restaurant, trying to work out which was the men’s room. For Ever and Ever are men.


So we are in for him because Unai, whose English is limited, needs someone in midfield he can talk to?

Can’t see who he would directly replace without representing a downgrade. Squad depth is important though.


While all these moves might prove to be very good in the end, it feels to me like we are not looking at top shelf players. This feels like consolidating our status as a Europa League club.


We already have a few of those to be fair

Easy tiger

Ramsey wount sign the contract.


Not entirely enamored with this link. This is probably an unpopular view, but I honestly think Felliani on a free would be better business.


Sorry, everyone. The weed here in Canada is strong. I take it all back


Interesting times. Still need that tricky winger though. Dembele , Mertens etc.


One day its Torreiro close. The next day is Banega.


Certainly won’t be signing both.

Neither are particularly impressive.

Torreiro has more potential lacks height (although not necessarily a critical impediment) Banega is in an Argentine team that is struggling through the world cup and is 29yrs.

You’d think we could be doing better than this.

Jimbo Jones

same height as Messi


He just had an incredible game against Nigeria. was the best in their awful side.
Created many chances, passing comfortably in all situations, solid defensive performance.
for 17.5m he’s a steal.


20mil euros is an OK price but he’s not an exceptional player. We have a lot of midfielders already. I rather have that reserve slot for our youths.


i’m concerned by the number of new signings so close to turning 30. quick fixes and champions league return and all that, of course, but how much money do arsenal have to burn like this for players with little re-sell value?

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