Arsenal reportedly view 27-year-old AC Milan star Hakan Calhanoglu as a potential alternative for Real Madrid playmaker Martin Odegaard.
According to CBS Sports journalist James Benge, Arsenal seem to be keeping their options open when it comes to signing a playmaker in the summer transfer window. After losing out in the race to sign Emiliano Buendia, the Gunners are scouring for alternatives for Martin Odegaard, with Hakan Calhanoglu emerging as an option.
Another target who Arsenal are understood to have broached internally is Hakan Calhanoglu, out of contract with AC Milan this summer. He is an option, not clear how high on the list he might be but expectation is he's an alternative to Odegaard.
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) June 7, 2021
Calhanoglu is currently facing an uncertain future at AC Milan, where he is in the final month of his contract. The 27-year-old is coming off the back of his most fruitful campaign with the Rossoneri, who have ended their exile from the UEFA Champions League by finishing second in Serie A this past season.
As for the player himself, he had 9 goals and 12 assists in 43 appearances across all competitions, playing a leading role in a solid season for Milan. However, with his current deal running out in a few weeks, Calhanoglu could well be on the move after Turkey’s campaign at UEFA Euro 2020. And, Arsenal seem to be keeping a watchful eye on the 27-year-old’s situation at San Siro.
The interest from Arsenal makes a lot of sense, despite the breakthrough campaign that Emile Smith Rowe enjoyed. It is important to note, after all, that Smith Rowe is still in the nascent stages of his career and will need to be complemented by a more experienced player, which makes the Turkish playmaker a viable target.
Calhanoglu ought to bring a lot of value to the table for Arsenal, seeing as Bruno Fernandes was the only player in the top five European leagues to have created more chances in the 2020/21 season. However, the 27-year-old is not the primary target for the north Londoners, who have turned their attention back to Martin Odegaard after failing to land Emiliano Buendia.
Buendia indeed snubbed Arsenal to join Aston Villa, and so, Arsenal will be well advised to keep their options open. It is still unclear how high Calhanoglu is on Arsenal’s wishlist, but he appears to be an alternative for Odegaard, which is a step in the right direction.
What now remains to be seen is if Arsenal do turn their attention towards Calhanoglu or succeed in prising Odegaard away from Real Madrid. For now, what appears to be certain is that the 27-year-old Turkish playmaker could be leaving Serie A giants AC Milan this summer.