The latest Arsenal-related transfer rumour (which apparently started in Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport) suggests that Philippe Mexes could be heading to the Emirates in a straight swap deal for Nicklas Bendtner.
Mexes has struggled with several injuries over the last few seasons and AC Milan are said to be looking to get rid of him because he has a costly £4.5m-a-year contract and is causing problems at the club. Milan are even said to be close to releasing the French international on a free, but will first see if they can swap him for somebody else. Mexes has been training on his own for the past few weeks; he did not go on the club tour of the USA because he had a bust-up with some of the other squad members and wanted to be with his pregnant wife.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of France’s friendly with Uruguay, France boss Didier Deschamps confirmed that there is a “situation” going on between Mexes and Milan. However, he did not go into further detail.
“I know Philippe well and he is part of the wider France squad.
“What is happening to him? I don’t know if he will leave Milan, as there is a particular situation going on with his club.”
Mexes to Arsenal does make some sense. He would add a lot of experience to the team and, as a seasoned French international, he is already familiar with two of our first-choice defenders. One big issue, however, is that Arsenal already have 4 centre-backs. Wenger has already made reference to a large squad size, so does he really need to add another centre-back unnecessarily? The obvious problem is that Nicklas Bendtner has been fantastically average during his time in the Premier League, which would suggest that this is probably just a fabricated story. Surely no club in their right mind would want to take Bendtner??
Milan have lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so it is understandable if they are looking to cut lose a veteran defender and bring in a new striker. Maybe the Rossoneri think that Bendtner’s luck will change at the San Siro? He certainly has the physical qualities needed to play in Italy and I guess he had an okay season on loan at Sunderland. He is only 24 and he has a lot to learn, so maybe he is worth a gamble.
Bendtner himself has confirmed that he will be leaving Arsenal this summer. Speaking to sporten.dk, St Nick said:
“Arsenal is not an option and that is something both the club and I agree on.
“I expect to have found a solution to my situation before the window closes. There are concrete negotiations in the works.
Let’s face it. This one is probably not going to happen. That said, I thought it was worth a mention and we will see what happens. Nothing it impossible.