Arsenal may not be acquiring a star centre-forward this summer, but their targets at the back are certainly mouth-watering.
Shkodran Mustafi’s imminent arrival from Valencia looks to have been announced by Italian journalist Emmanuele Giulianelli, but the Gunners have also been heavily linked with a move to sign Atletico Madrid’s Uruguayan sensation Jose Maria Gimenez.
The 21-year-old is a feature of Diego Simeone’s ‘magnificent seven’ defenders available to Los Rojiblancos, and it is no surprise that Arsene Wenger is reportedly interested in bringing the young star to the Emirates.
However, Marca claim that Arsenal will have to activate Gimenez’s release clause at Atletico in order to persuade the Spanish club to part with their prized asset.
Currently, that fee stands at €65 million.
It’s a fair assumption that a club such as Arsenal would balk at that enormous sum, especially with the club in negotiations with Valencia for Mustafi, but in today’s increasingly inflated market it is a fair price for Atleti to command.
For a player to be an established starter at a club as enormous as Atletico at Gimenez’s age is unheard of.
And it is no surprise that Real Madrid have courted the defender’s services, only to be knocked back by their bitter rivals in their attempts to make an approach.
The release clause is not set in stone with regard to how much Simeone’s outfit would sell Gimenez for, however, with the Daily Mail suggesting that a deal could be agreed around the £40m.
It can also be argued that Gimenez is a better-rounded than Mustafi and could suit their playing style to a greater extent than the Valencia defender.
His stock will only continually rise under the guidance of Simeone, and Atletico are an outfit that are only growing as a force in European football.
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena.