Arsene Wenger ready for Emirates offer he may find hard to refuse.
Juventus will test Arsene Wenger’s desire to sign Felipe Melo by insisting on an Arsenal star in exchange.
The Gunners boss admits he is still interested in Melo, who he failed to land when the Brazil midfielder left Fiorentina for Juve in a players plus cash deal worth £21million.
The Turin giants would be open to a deal, but are eyeing at least one of Robin van Persie, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna as part of any transfer.
Wenger is likely to resist a raid for the first-team trio, though in the summer he was willing to offer Fiorentina Emmanuel Eboue as part of a total package worth £18m.
Juve are unlikely to recoup what they paid for the 26-year-old. Melo has been disappointing and part of a criticised Brazilian trio alongside Diego and Amauri at the underachieving Serie A side.
Swap deal: Juventus want Arsenal star Robin van Persie (left)
Nonetheless, Melo continues to perform well at international level and Wenger watched him play in the Brazil side that beat the Republic of Ireland 2-0 at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
‘We were interested in Melo during the summer,’ said Wenger earlier this week. ‘We still think he is a very talented player and with Gilberto Silva, Brazil have a very useful pair in midfield. We are still looking at Melo.’ (Daily Mail)
So are any of the players listed as potentially expendable Emirates players? Well clearly Robin Van Persie is going nowhere but perhaps allowing either full backs, Gael Clichy or Bacary Sagna, leave for Turin would be feasible? Felipe Melo is the type of quality player that could do wonders alongside Cesc Fabregas in the centre of the Arsenal midfield and perhaps players coming through the north London club’s youth system and on the fringes of the first team picture could adequately replace either left or right back berths?
Recent reports, which may or may not have any validity, have stated that both Sagna and Clichy have considered approaches from the likes of Real Madrid and AC Milan respectively. Maybe in Armand Traore and Kieran Gibbs the club has two potential replacements for the French international should Arsene Wenger feel that such a deal would benefit the club as the experienced Melo could help resolve the long standing issue of needing a quality defensive midfielder to give the Gunners a firmer backbone.
On the right there are less options to replace former Auxerre man Sagna, but I was impressed with Kerrea Gilbert when he played against Liverpool in the Carling Cup but the 23 year old may still be a little way off the Premier League level at present. Then there is Gavin Hoyte who at 19 is still very much rough around the edges.
Now if Wenger could persuade any potential swap deal to include Emmanuel Eboue then he would be laughing but that seems unlikely however much the Ivorian has improved he is still by no means the type of make weight that the Italian giants will be looking for. Arsenal may have enough funds to try to persuade the Old Lady of Serie A to take a straight cash offer, after all the Brazilian international hasn’t exactly shone at Juventus and has fallen out with a number of players and officials at the club and is reportedly very keen to end his Italian nightmare.