Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha ‘favours’ a move to Arsenal as he looks to leave Selhurst Park this summer, but while the Gunners are keen on him, the lack of Champions League football has had an impact on the transfer budget, thus making a deal unlikely without some significant sales.
Unai Emery’s team had two bites at European football’s most prestigious cherry, but a dismal end to the Premier League season saw them finish 5th behind fourth placed Chelsea, and – to compound the misery – they were battered 4-1 in the Europa League final by Maurizio Sarri’s side.
In a Twitter update this afternoon, the BBC’s David Ornstein has revealed the Ivory Coast international would be open to a switch to the Gunners, but because transfer funds are limited without Champions League money, the only feasible way to make it happen is by selling a player we probably don’t want to lose.
• Wan-Bissaka’s Crystal Palace to Manchester United move
• Zaha’s sell-on clause, desire to join Arsenal, their interest + Palace stance
• Torreira #ACMilan, Tierney #CelticFC + Saliba
More on #MUFC #CPFC #AFC Liverpool #LFC & others on @5liveSport tonight from 8pm pic.twitter.com/0Af9KJdZBl
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) June 26, 2019
A total budget of around £45m could be augmented through sales, with the names of both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lucas Torreira mentioned.
Both are popular figures with Arsenal fans, and although there has been a lot of speculation around the Uruguayan, it seems he’s not AC Milan’s priority as they know he’d cost far in excess of the loan + option deal they’re reportedly made.
Discussions with Celtic remain ongoing over the transfer of Kieran Tierney, while it’s suggested that we’re in negotiations with Saint-Etienne for 18 year old William Saliba – but one of the conditions of the deal is that we allow him to spend a year on loan with his current club.
Given the fee for the player is in the region of £25m, it feels like a lot to ask – particularly when the centre of our defence is in need of a significant rebuild.
And yes, we’re fully aware we wouldn’t pay £25m up front or anything like it, but you do have to wonder about the wisdom of such an arrangement when our funds appear to be as limited as they are.