Saturday 16 December 2017

Arsenal to trigger Celta Vigo striker Nolito's £13.4m buyout clause

Celta Vigo forward Nolito is having an impressive season
Celta Vigo forward Nolito is having an impressive season

Arsenal are set to sign Celta Vigo striker Nolito from under Barcelona's noses, according to reports in Spain.

El Mundo Deportivo claims that Arsenal will trigger the Barca target's £13.4m buyout clause, as he continues to stall on a new deal at Celta.

The 29-year-old striker has scored eight club goals in 15 appearances this season, after claiming 13 last season, and working his way into the Spain squad.

Nolito is small in satture and would provide a more mobile alternative to Olivier Giroud.

Elsewhere, The Telegraph reports that Arsenal are to pocket £1.5m from the deal taking former striker Benik Afobe from Wolves to Bournemouth.

And in other news, when was the last time Arsenal sold their club captain? Ah yes, 18 months ago when Thomas Vermaelen went to Barcelona. Is it now time to move his successor on, too? West Ham seem to think they have a chance of capturing Mikel Arteta and their manager, Slaven Bilic, sees the former Everton midfielder as just the man to help them secure a Europena place for their first season at the Olympic Stadium. The Express, citing the Spanish website Fichajes, thinks it could be curtains for the captain. But what if he would prefer to end his Arsenal stay with a league title?

It's a long time since Arsène Wenger 'went large' in January - you have to go back as far as 2006 since the manager bought Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Adebayor, Theo Walcott and Mart Poom, two of whom were immediately in contention for first-team places. More usually - with the obvious exception of Andrei Arshavin - it's a back-up or 'one for the future'. So how are we to react to the news that Mohamed Elneny's purchase will go through this week followed by rumours of continued interest in Inter's Marcelo Brozovic?

Calciomercato reports that the 23-year-old Croatia midfielder is still on Arsenal's radar and that it would take a bid of £18.5m to persuade his club to let him leave. The site quotes his agent saying: "The Premier League clubs know him very well, and believe he can improve a lot in the next few years, but they also know that he's not cheap.

"Marcelo is happy at Inter, playing well, the fans love him, everyone at the club believes in him, Milan is fantastic. So we think of a transfer only when Inter will give the green light. Prior to that he is focused only on Inter matches and how to achieve the best possible results this season."

When Ezequiel Lavezzi left Napoli for PSG in 2012, he commanded a fee of €30 million but even though he is four months off his 31st birthday he could be sold for more if Arsenal and Chelsea rival Internazionale for the Argentina winger as the Daily Star thinks possible.

Inter are in the proverbial box seat but it remains doubtful that a club as wealthy as PSG would risk selling anyone in January when they don't need the money

The question of where Mathieu Debuchy will end up has been clouded by two more parties weighing up moves for the France right-back. Wenger is sympathetic to his desire to leave in a bid to play more games and cement a place in France's Euro 2016 starting XI.

But while it had been thought that he would go to Aston Villa, both helping the player and Wenger's protege Remi Garde, Bayer Leverkusen and Roma have also enetered the fray. It remains to be seen where he ends up but there appears to be recognition that Arsenal will ot stand in his way.

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