Arsenal’s hierarchy has reportedly approved the pursuit of Liverpool target Domagoj Vida, but only if they can offload some stars to make up for the cash.
Arsenal are reportedly in the hunt for Croatian defender, Domagoj Vida as Unai Emery seeks to make one more signing before the transfer window closes on August 9. The Sun are reporting that although Arsenal seem highly interested in the Croat, they must offload some of their stars to make up for the £25 million transfer fees.
Despite enjoying an excellent pre-season so far, Unai Emery is concerned about Arsenal’s defence and is reportedly not happy with what he has inherited from Arsene Wenger. Much to his satisfaction, the Gunners have made defensive signings this summer in the form of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
As Arsenal have reinforced with the view of solving a problem area from last season, Emery feels the defence lacks the necessary steel and command. With that, there is the talk of an incoming, experienced defender, and the Gunners are now chasing Domagoj Vida from Besiktas, with the Turkish giants wanting £25 million for the Croat, who is also a target for Liverpool.
Liverpool have been in the search for a centre-back to have in the squad as a rotation option to current stars Virgil Van Dijk and Dejan Lovren. With Klopp seemingly unhappy with his other options in Ragnar Klavan and Joel Matip, the manager wants to add Vida to his squad to have stable, quality depth with his centre-back options.
There are two stumbling blocks with this transfer in addition to Liverpool’s presence in the fray; one with the amount of time left before the window closes, and second a lack of any remaining funds. That said, the Arsenal board is in agreement on the move but only if they sell some of their stars to fund the transfer.
In that scenario, the players who could be sold are Danny Welbeck and Shkodran Mustafi. Welbeck has a year left on his contract, and there have been no signs of a renewal yet, while Mustafi has endured a difficult time at the club, and last season’s showing meant he could be allowed to leave.
Mustafi could be the candidate to leave, considering Vida will be joining an already stacked defensive unit. Juventus had shown an interest in the German early on, but have since gone on to sign Leonrdo Bonucci, and Vida’s current side, Besiktas are interested as well, but do not want to pay the £22 million Arsenal are demanding for Mustafi.
Arsenal have already exhausted their £70 million transfer budget for the summer, and have only been able to sell fringe players like Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Chuba Akpom for paltry sums. If they want to sign Vida, they are in need to sell one of the big players and gather the funds.
Vida was in excellent form at the World Cup, helping Croatia reach the final. His performances attracted interest from Liverpool, who were thought to be close to signing Vida. Now with Arsenal stepping up their interest, the race for the Croat could go down the wire.
As for Arsenal, signing Vida in place of Mustafi would be a good deal, as the player himself is peaking at the moment and could be the best possible deal to shore up their doubtful defence. If they are genuinely interested in the player, Arsenal need to act fast and make the deal happen before the window shuts on August 9.