Arsenal have reportedly been told to cough up £44 million to complete a double swoop for Sampdoria stars Joachim Andersen and Dennis Praet.
If the report by Daily Star is to be believed, Arsenal have hit a snag in their pursuit of Sampdoria superstars Joachim Andersen and Dennis Praet. The Serie A club have intimated Arsenal of their valuation for the two players, a combined £44 million, which the Gunners are refusing to pay.
Another summer of frugal budgeting beckons Arsnela, with Unai Emery reportedly set to get just £45 million to spend. Any additional amount will only be made available via player sales, making it a tough predicament for Emery. What makes matters worse is the fact that the four departures thus far, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck and Petr Cech (retirement), have all done nothing to add to Arsenal’s transfer budget.
In the meantime, a number of targets have reportedly been identified by Arsenal, two of whom ply their trades in Serie A. Sampdoria regulars Dennis Praet and Joachim Andersen have emerged as key targets for the Gunners, so as to bolster midfield and defence, respectively.
Both Andersen and Praet have been mainstays in the Sampdoria first-team setup, playing a key role in their consistent displays over the last couple of seasons. This past season, Praet was an ever-present whenever available, while Andersen missed just one Serie A game when he wasn’t either injured or suspended.
Such numbers assert just how important the two stars are for Samp, who are now bracing for a bid for the duo. Praet, in particular, could be set for a summer exit after admitting recently that he is keen on making a move to one of the top clubs in the big four leagues in Europe. And, the Belgian international has been identified as a possible replacement for Ramsey by Arsenal.
The 25-year-old, in fact, has a history with Arsenal as well, having had a trial at the North London club as a young prospect. Meanwhile, Andersen has been scouted by several clubs over the course of the season, including Arsenal for whom defence is a major concern.
Bar Manchester United, no other ‘Big Six’ club conceded nearly as many goals as Arsenal, with the heart of the defence emerging as a huge area concern. Sokratis has become a mainstay at the back and should be a key player next season.
But, Shkodran Mustafi is an unreliable figure while Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny, who also faces an uncertain future at the club, is not getting any younger, and the same goes for Nacho Monreal. Rob Holding is coming off a major injury while Konstantinos Mavropanos is still not deemed ready to be a regular.
In such a scenario, signing a player like Andersen could go a long way for Arsenal. But, the Gunners have been set back by Sampdoria’s asking price for the Dane and Praet. The Serie A club are demanding £44 million in exchange of the duo, which Arsenal are unwilling to pay.
What further complicates the matter is the fact that current Sampdoria manager Marco Giampaolo is being linked with the vacant AC Milan job and might want either or both of the players at San Siro, as per the report.
A couple of obstacles lay in front of Arsenal before they can hope to sign Dennis Praet and Joachim Andersen. It now remains to be seen if they can lower Sampdoria’s asking price, or if the two clubs fail to reach a compromise.