Sunday 22 October 2017

Arsenal poised to snap up Alessio Romagnoli from Milan's clutches

Alessio Romagnoli (left) is being linked with Arsenal
Alessio Romagnoli (left) is being linked with Arsenal

Arsenal have been given a lifeline in their pursuit of signing Roma defender Alessio Romagnoli.

Romagnoli was nearing a switch to AC Milan, but TalkSport are reporting that negotiations have come to a standstill - which could allow the Gunners to make their move.

The defender has been linked with a move to the Italian giants in recent weeks with Milan tabling a £20m bid for the 20-year-old.

However, it is claimed that Roma have rejected the offer and want at least £25m for Romagnoli.

The player spent last season on loan at Sampdoria where he made 31 appearances in all competitions.

Arsene Wenger has been monitoring the situation and is keen to sign the Italy U21 international.

Arsenal have made only one major signing this summer, that of Petr Cech from Chelsea but are still open to add to their squad despite success in the Community Shield final on Sunday.

Wenger's hopes of landing Karim Benzema have been dealt a blow by Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez.

Benitez insists the French international is a main part of his plans for the upcoming campaign.

The former Liverpool coach said: "I think Benzema is going to stay with us.

"I'm very happy with him. There's no reason to think that he's going to go."

The player's agent, Karim Djaziri, has also said Benzema wants to stay in Spain.

Arsenal are willing to break their transfer record to sign the striker, but will have their work cut out to persuade the French international to move to England.

Djaziri says in Calciomercato: “We have not received proposals and Karim wants to stay at Real Madrid.”

French teenager Ismael Bennacer, meanwhile, has confirmed he has signed a five-year deal with Arsenal.

Get Football News France reports that the highly-rated 18-year-old has made the move, with a picture emerging on Twitter of the youngster signing a contract.

Bennacer has revealed he was scared to leave his homeland at such a young age when the interest first emerged.

Bennacer said: “I was a little worried in my head about going abroad. I have never left home before, I thought about staying in France in order to accumulate game time too… (Arsenal is) the most French of the English clubs.”

The midfielder added: “That is what made me a little scared at the beginning, but when I saw the condition of the training centre, I realised that there isn’t a better place for me to progress.

“It is up to me to prove myself, they gave me a five year contract so they must have confidence in me.”

Bennacer made six appearances for Arles-Avignon last season and is expected to link up with Arsenal's Under-18s and U21s side.

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