Arsenal will reportedly have to battle fellow Premier League side Everton if they are to sign Djene Dakonam from Getafe in the summer transfer window.
According to a report from Spanish publication MARCA, Arsenal are set to face stern competition from fellow English outfit in their pursuit of Getafe and Togo centre-back Djene Dakonam.
Djene, 27, has been with Getafe since the summer of 2017 and had an exceptional 2018-19 campaign, playing an integral role in the club finishing fifth in the La Liga and earning a spot in next season’s UEFA Europa League. Having featured in 34 league games, the defender ensured that Getafe conceded just 35 goals – lesser than champions Barcelona.
Djene’s emergence as one of the most reliable centre-backs in La Liga over the past year has seen him gather admirers from within Spain as well as the English shores. There had been some degree of interest from Barcelona in the winter window, but now Arsenal have emerged as one of his major suitors.
Unai Emery’s first season in England with the Gunners was blighted by defensive issues. Apart from Sokratis Papastathopoulos, the rest of the centre-backs endured a difficult campaign. Laurent Koscielny was once again hampered by injuries, while Shkodran Mustafi was highly erroneous. And with Nacho Monreal’s contract expiring, a new defender has to be a priority for Arsenal.
Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League for the third consecutive season, which will have a negative impact on their transfer budget. With the North London outfit likely to operate under stringent financial constraints, Emery will be forced to look at smart, value-for-money buys and Djene could prove to be exactly that.
At 27 years of age, the 34-time capped Togo international is entering his peak years and has shown in his performances this past season that he is ready to take the next step in his career. However, they will now have to battle fellow Premier League club Everton, as per the report.
Everton are losing long-time servant Phil Jagielka this summer on a free transfer, while Kurt Zouma is unlikely to return to Goodison Park after his successful loan spell this past season, with Chelsea believed to be keen on holding on to him owing to their two-window transfer ban. This has forced the Toffees to consider swooping in for Djene.
Djene is contracted to Getafe till the summer of 2023 and the club will sell him only if his release clause, which stands at €35 million, is met by any of his suitors. As of now, there have been no official approaches made by either Arsenal or Everton, and it remains to be seen if they firm up their interest in the Togolese centre-half or turn their attention elsewhere.