Football transfer rumours: Arsenal and Real Madrid eye Kepa Arrizabalaga?

Michael Butler on 15 November 2017

Who remembers the Sami Khedira transfer storm of 2015? Well, that’s because there wasn’t one. Khedira, criminally under-appreciated at Real Madrid, joined Juventus on a free transfer and that was that. It was a good move for Khedira, it was a cheap move for Juve, who now want to repeat the trick of nabbing a handsome German international central midfielder with extremely good hair on a free transfer … with Liverpool’s Emre Can.

“Emre! How could you?” go up the cries on Merseyside. Why anybody would want to leave a team that has won one League Cup in the last 11 years for a team that reached the Champions League final in June and has won six Scudettos on the trot is anyone’s guess. That said, reports in Italy say that Khedira has been putting on the charm offensive on Can in the international break and with Liverpool’s contract negotiations stuttering over various clauses, the Old Lady look favourites to get Can as well as Schalke’s Leon Goretzka, whose contract also expires next summer: “They are available for free at the end of the season,” chief suit Giuseppe Marotta smiled. “We are interested and we’ll make an attempt but it all depends on their will.”

The aptly-named Athletic Bilboa goalie Kepa Arrizabalaga is being linked with Real Madrid and Arsenal, according to the Spanish media. The 23-year-old is another whose contract is up at the end of the season and, after impressing this season – and making his Spain debut on Saturday against Costa Rica – the Basque club could be willing to sell in January, perhaps for less than his £20m release clause. “Of course I know of the rumours, I can see them and hear them, you know they exist but I know my situation better than that,” Arrizabalaga flirted. “They don’t make me nervous and I’m keeping calm.”

Chelsea are reportedly trying to trade in one outrageously talented Brazilian in Willian for one that is slightly worse in Lucas Moura, who admittedly once nearly scored a really, really good goal against Marseille three years ago, but has otherwise been going through the motions a little bit at PSG.

Manchester United have added Steven N’Zonzi to the list of the central midfielders they are trying to sign. The Frenchman might be wary of joining a club that already has Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan in central midfield, but then maybe the Sevilla hotshot can buy his old house in Blackburn and do the commute to Carrington from there. “ I love the Premier League, as that’s where I started to play at a high level and I had a great time there,” the 6ft3in giant is recently quoted as saying.

It says here that West Ham want Lewis Dunk to join the David Moyes Revolution in east London, but this correspondent suspects Brighton won’t be too keen on letting their vice-captain, who only signed a shiny new five-year contract in the summer, join their relegation rivals.

Internazionale are eyeing Everton flop Sandro Ramírez, and seem confident of landing the Spaniard for even less than the £5m that the Premier League club paid for him in the summer. Despite being fully fit, the 22-year-old has been left out of the last five Everton matchday squads but the Italian club are apparently still keen on a player who scored 14 La Liga goals for Málaga last season.

After their failed £92m bid for Thomas Lemar in the summer, Arsenal have cooled their interest in the Monaco star, and are instead sending their scouts on a nice, extended trip to Lyon to monitor Nabil Fekir, who anybody can see is the best player in Ligue 1 right now. The France international won’t come cheap, but might be tempted to team up with his old mucker Alexandre Lacazette on a bench somewhere in north London.

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