Ben White is obviously on the verge of becoming an Arsenal player, with his medical ahead of a £50m move expected to take place on Wednesday. However, the business doesn’t stop there, at least not when it comes to transfer rumours.
Fresh reports from Spain suggest the move for Martin Odegaard could yet be resurrected. The Norway international spent the second half of 2020-21 on loan at the Emirates, wearing the Arsenal shirt on 20 occasions in all competition, scoring and assisting twice apiece. The club were reportedly keen on turning the deal permanent this summer, but no deal has been struck and the 22-year-old Norwegian himself said he was ready to fight for his future at Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti.
However, there seems to have been a twist in the story. Odegaard is now apparently unconvinced of his role in the Spanish capital during the upcoming season, and his entourage have refused to rule out a return to North London. Arsenal so far haven’t secured an alternative in the attacking midfield ranks.
The Gunners have strongly been linked with Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, as have Juventus, and it is widely believed that the 23-year-old Euro winner with Italy prefers the Turin move. However, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus have had an offer for his services rejected by Sassuolo. Apparently, it consisted of an initial loan deal for which Juventus would pay €5 million, with an obligation to buy at the end of 2021-22 for another €20m, on top of which would come add-ons of €7m and a 25 per cent sell-on clause.
Sassuolo are believed to be demanding €40m and aren’t interested in a sell-on clause; they want their money to be guaranteed, though they could accept payment over several years.
Plenty of interest in Ainsley Maitland-Niles is being reported these days. According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle, Southampton and Burnley are all keen on signing the 23-year-old versatile man who failed to help West Bromwich Albion avoid relegation during his loan at the Hawthorns in the second half of 2020-21.
Maitland-Niles has two years left on his Arsenal contract, and the time to sell is arguably now if the club wish to avoid the prospect of dropping the price next summer or even a free transfer in 2023.
As for Joe Willock, The Telegraph are reporting that Newcastle are still eyeing a permanent deal for the player who spent the second half of last season on loan at St. James Park, putting in a fine performance after fine performance, and that Arsenal are open to a sale as they strive to secure funds for further incoming deals. Mikel Arteta recently spoke about the 21-year-old, though his words sounded rather non-committal.
“Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him,” the boss said after the pre-season defeat to Hibernian.
Note the ‘in the time that he is here’ part.