Events continue to unfold in the reported transfer of FC Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny to Arsenal. On Thursday, Metro reported on a story from a Swiss paper earlier this week that Arsenal were about to sign FC Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny. Today, the relatively reliable John Cross, of the Mirror, is reporting a fee has been agreed between the two clubs. The only steps remaining are to agree personal terms with the player himself and a medical.
Many Arsenal fans have been clamoring for Arsenal to do its business quickly and early in the window with the long-term absences of deep-lying midfielders Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla. According to Cross, this deal could satisfy that desire, as "the deal could be announced within days of the January window being open for business." Cross also reports that the fee would be in the region of £5m and that the signing of Elneny "is also likely to be the only deal Arsenal do in the January window."
This signing seems to smack of the same sort of shrewd dealing that brought Brazilian centerback Gabriel to the club from Villareal last January: a solid player with the characteristics Arsenal need but without the big-name price tag. Is Arsene Wenger once again ascending to his position of king of finding hidden gems throughout Europe? Only time will tell, but it seems the signing of Elneny is a real possibility.
EDIT: We've got more! Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph – just a little bit more reliable than Mr. Cross – is reporting similarly, though he says the fee negotiations are not quite complete. He does, however, characterize the talks so far as having been "positive," and "the expectation is that there will be little difficulty in agreeing personal terms with Elneny," so this one may be moving right along!