Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly interested in AC Milan’s Turkish playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu, who will be a free agent in the summer.
According to a report from Sky Sport Italia, Premier League giants Arsenal and Chelsea are closely monitoring the situation of AC Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu with an interest in making a move for him in the summer.
Calhanoglu has been with the Rossoneri since 2017, having joined them from German outfit Bayer Leverkusen. Despite having made a slow start to life in Italy, the 27-year-old has grown into one of the most important members of this AC Milan outfit.
Indeed, Calhanoglu, along with Franck Kessie, has been Milan’s best player over the past twelve months or so, helping the team turn their fortunes around and emerge as Serie A title contenders again under Stefano Pioli. In the ongoing campaign, the Turkish international has produced a return of 7 goals and 11 assists from 34 games in all competitions.
However, Calhanoglu’s future at AC Milan has been a hot topic of discussion for a while now as the Turkish playmaker nears the expiry of his contract. Indeed, the 27-year-old’s deal with the Rossoneri runs out at the end of the ongoing season. And with contract negotiations stalling, he would be a free agent in the summer transfer window.
This has alerted a number of clubs across Europe, with Manchester United previously being linked with a move for Calhanoglu. Now, it is Arsenal and Chelsea who have been credited with an interest in the 27-year-old as we approach the business end of the season.
Arsenal could certainly be in need of a playmaker like Calhanoglu in the summer given their creative woes in the first half of the ongoing campaign. Things have seemed to ease off a bit since Emile Smith Rowe’s introduction into the side, coupled with the arrival of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid.
However, it must not be forgotten that the Norwegian international is only on loan till the end of the season. And even though the Gunners are keen to sign him permanently, they could baulk at Real Madrid’s valuation of Odegaard while he is also attracting interest from Liverpool and Chelsea as well. So, someone like Calhanoglu would be a viable alternative.
As for Chelsea, the interest in Odegaard is a bit puzzling given the plethora of attacking midfielders already at Thomas Tuchel’s disposal. The German tactician already has Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz to call upon while he has also used Timo Werner in an attacking midfield role at times.
In addition, the likes of Ross Barkley, Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could also be options once they return from their loan spells. So, a move for Calhanoglu would only be justified if any of the current first-team starters would be allowed to leave by Chelsea.
The report goes on to add that apart from Arsenal and Chelsea, Juventus are also serious contenders to sign Calhanoglu from Milan. It is even claimed that the Bianconeri could edge out the Premier League clubs for his signing as they are prepared to offer a bigger financial package. It remains to be seen how this saga unfolds in the coming weeks.