Arsenal and Chelsea have emerged as front-runners to sign Atletico Madrid star Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, according to reports.
According to the Sun, Atletico may be ready to cash in on the winger alerting several top clubs across Europe to the possibility of signing him. The Belgian international has reportedly become unsettled in Madrid after falling out with manager Diego Simeone, who is prepared to sell Carrasco.
Carrasco has been one of Atletico’s best performers this season and has picked up 10 goals and 3 assists in 32 appearances across all competitions. The winger only joined Atletico Madrid in 2015 from Monaco in a £17 million deal and has already proven he was worth the fee.
After an impressive debut campaign, Carrasco started this season in fine fashion but things have quickly changed for the Belgian. He was visibly frustrated on more than one occasion upon being substituted by Simeone and according to some reports their relationship had completely deteriorated after a series of spats.
Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are also interested in signing Carrasco, although they also claim that the latter will only pursue him seriously should they sell Douglas Costa in the summer.
The Sun, though, claim that Arsenal and Chelsea are leading the list of Premier League clubs who are interested in his signature. Reports emerged last month that Chelsea were hoping their contingent of Belgians would be enough to convince Carrasco to join the club and may still hold an advantage due to the aforementioned.
Chelsea have been linked with a host of wingers – including Fiorentina’s Federico Bernardeschi and Juventus’ Antonio Candreva – so it would be no surprise that they are chasing one of Belgium’s rising stars who is already considered one of the most promising players in the nation.
Manchester United have also been linked with a move for the winger with Jose Mourinho said to be an admirer. However, according to the Sun, it is Arsenal and Chelsea that have now emerged as front-runners.
Arsenal will no doubt be looking to reinvigorate their squad in the summer after seeing their title challenge fizzle out once again this season. Arsene Wenger will be under increasing pressure to challenge for major honours and Carrasco’s quality would be a valuable addition to the side.
The Sun state that it would take a bid of £40 million to convince Atletico to sell their star player, who has already become one of the most important players at the club. That fee should not be a problem for the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal.
At 23, Carrasco has a long way to go and this is surely something that will attract Arsenal who have a history of signing younger players. Carrasco has the tenacity, pace and power to play in the Premier League and his ability to play anywhere across the frontline is a big plus.
Another potential transfer battle seems set to ensue in the summer.