Arsenal and Chelsea have reportedly initiated talks with the representatives of Atalanta midfielder Bryan Cristante, who is keen on a summer move to England.
If a report from Sky Sports is to be believed, Arsenal and Chelsea have taken a step closer towards securing a signing for the next season. The London duo have reportedly held talks with the representatives of former AC Milan player Bryan Cristante, currently on loan at Atalanta from SL Benfica, with the player himself keen on a move to England in the summer.
Bryan Cristante has had quite a journey in his footballing career so far. Emanating from the fabled AC Milan youth setup, the player had high hopes pinned on him as he featured for the first-team at San Siro in the Champions League aged just 16. But, the player was soon shipped to SL Benfica, who have hauled him out on loan to Serie A itself season-after-season.
But, the current loan move to Atalanta – a season and a half long loan deal – has seen Cristante finally begin to show signs of fulfilling his potential. The player has been one of the vital cogs for Atalanta this season, with 12 goals and 4 assists for the club this campaign, playing a part in all but two matches in Serie A.
A regular at Atalanta, Cristante’s industry in the middle of the park combined with his ability to support the attackers with his generous goal tally has generated quite an interest in his services. Arsenal and Chelsea are the latest clubs to be linked with the Italian international.
Arsenal are set for a summer of rebuild, with Arsene Wenger bidding adieu to the Emirates. The incoming manager will have many aspects to work on within the squad, with midfield being one of the areas that need attention. Jack Wilshere has not renewed with Arsenal and is likely to move on a free transfer, to one of his many suitors.
Granit Xhaka and others have hardly stamped their own authority as a starter, with mistakes coming far too often for anyone’s liking. Cristante, at 23, could be a player Arsenal can build their entire midfield around, especially with the presence of up-and-coming midfield gems like Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and others.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have been crying out for a partner to N’Golo Kante since the departure of Nemanja Matic. Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater have both been jostling with fitness issues while Tiemoue Bakayoko has failed to establish himself at the Bridge just yet.
Cristante can not only satiate the aforementioned need, but also provide Chelsea with goals from midfield, something they could have used this season, with Alvaro Morata misfiring for an extended period of time.
The report iterates that the player’s representatives were in London last week and held talks with both the clubs. Cristante himself is reportedly keen on a move to England, which could further aid the chances of Arsenal and Chelsea, given the rumours of a few Italian and several other European teams being interested in the 23-year-old.
Atalanta though, could have a say in the matter. The Italian club reserve a buyout option embedded in the loan deal to make the move permanent. If Atalanta do exercise the option, they could then earn a profit by driving up an auction for the in-demand Cristante.
Cristante seems to be looking towards playing in England as per the report and if that indeed is the case, Atalanta would do well to profit from the move rather than keep a player against his will.