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.
.@UnaiEmery_ tuvo a Banega en el Valencia y después se lo llevó al Sevilla, siempre con un gran rendimienro del argentino. Normal que ahora lo quiera para el #Arsenal En @canalsur aseguran que su agente ha estado en Londres con Ivan Gazidis. Cuesta €20 M. Sería un gran fichaje. pic.twitter.com/g8eZCu1FNP
— Kike Marin** (@Kike_Marin_) June 24, 2018
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.