Angelo Ogbonna has seen his stock rise considerably over the past two seasons. The center back has been an integral part of the Torino squad for the past four years and recently impressed everyone during Italy friendly match with England.
The 24-year-old, who made his international debut during a friendly against Poland back in 2011 has been scouted by top clubs across Europe. Italian clubs Juventus, AC Milan and Fiorentina have been reportedly put-off by Torino demands of £17million, but Liverpool’s interest have grown this season.
Ogbonna, whose current contract expires in 2016, has earlier expressed his delighted at being linked with a big club like Liverpool. The 24-year-old said (back in October) –
“I am flattered by the interest from clubs, but I will continue to work hard for Torino in Serie B. Liverpool is a dream club. If they are interested in me, that is awesome. I love the Premier League and one day I might play in that league. We all know that it is fantastic league.”
But now it seems like Arsenal have joined the race for his signature and are in pole position to land the Italian international in the summer. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been handed over a big transfer kitty for next season and the London club are expected to have a busy summer. The Arsenal defence needs strengthening and Arsenal have reportedly added Ogbonna to their wish list.
The Torino defender has recently stated his desire to play in the Champions League and it would be interesting to see whether he joins either of Liverpool or Arsenal even if they fail to qualify for the top European competition.
‘A move abroad? Why not? My dream is to play in a Champions League final.’ Ogbonna said.
Arsenal it seems have already contacted the Italian club regarding their sale of the defenders which has now made them favourites to land him in the summer as Liverpool, despite their continued interest, are yet to make an official approach. Arsene Wenger is confident of negotiating a transfer much lower than what Torino have demanded initially with big performance bonuses to be included in the deal.
Ogbonna will definitely add steel to defence of the club he joins in the summer. Liverpool are unlikely to give up on their target though, and might commence a bidding war with Arsenal next season.