The smell test. Something Jogi Lo... sorry? That line has been taken? Oh.
Perhaps only in efforts to keep something in the news as the World Cup group stages, the rumor mill has been fired up again for the potential addition of another midfielder to Arsenal’s ranks. From Kike Marin, it appears the team is meeting with the agent of Ever Banega in hopes of luring him away from Sevilla.
.@UnaiEmery_ tuvo a Banega en el Valencia y después se lo llevó al Sevilla, siempre con un gran rendimienro del argentino. Normal que ahora lo quiera para el #Arsenal En @canalsur aseguran que su agente ha estado en Londres con Ivan Gazidis. Cuesta €20 M. Sería un gran fichaje. pic.twitter.com/g8eZCu1FNP— Kike Marin** (@Kike_Marin_) June 24, 2018
But not so fast. Seville is even more adament that the Argentine is not for sale, stating they believe they can keep the midfielder happy admit a “weighing of options” amid some behind-the-scene changes occuring at the club. The sticking point appears to be the €20M release clause that Arsenal are set to meet, needing only to convince Banega to come. Seville also reports they have a back up plan if needed, which makes it sound like a lot of posturing for money and player.
New Boss Unai Emery has a fairly long history with Banega, having coached him at Seville, and seems to be the one pushing for his arrival most. The 29-year-old would definitely continue the trend of adding experience to an already oldish Arsenal side but also players who would help bring stability to Emery’s transition period.
Still, Banega would become Arsenal’s fifth arrival, along with confirmed transfers of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bernd Leno and expect ones of Sokratis and Lucas Torreira. It would also bring into question playing time for Arsenal’s sudden glut of midfielders. With only Jack Wilshere on the outs, it draws into question who they can feasibly keep and keep happy with starts. Arsenal, after years of with a paper thin central-mid, appear to be gorging like a kid at an all-you-can-eat sundae bar.
However it pans out, the activity and interest are signs they are remaking the team. What is unknown is who will be the ones cast off to make room. Isn’t the silly season fun?