According to Spanish sports news website AS.com, Arsène Wenger has highlighted the name of Sevilla winger Jesus Navas on his list of players who could be brought in to further strengthen the Arsenal squad. Wenger is apparently preparing a €15 million (roughly £11.8m) bid for the Spanish international in order to test the water and see if Sevilla are willing to negotiate.
Navas has a buy-out-clause of £27 million, but it is reported that Sevilla could settle for around half that. AS is known to be quite reliable, so this transfer rumour would seem to be at least slightly credible.
The suggestion is that bringing Navas to Arsenal could spell the end of Theo Walcott’s career at the Emirates. Discussions over a new contract for Theo have not really progressed over the summer, and it would not be surprising if he was looking elsewhere. Juventus has been touted as a possible destination, while there are also rumours of interest from Chelsea and Liverpool. Even if Theo does stay at Arsenal, he would be free to leave the club on a free transfer next summer if he does not sign a contract extension. Walcott is apparently looking for wages of £100,000 a week, which Arsenal are not willing or able to offer.
In my opinion, Navas would be a fantastic but equally very risky signing for Arsenal. There is no doubt that he would be an upgrade on Walcott, but previous evidence suggests that he may struggle to settle in North London. In 2006 it was agreed that Navas was to join Chelsea. However, he subsequently pulled out of the transfer and announced that he suggesrs from chronic homesickness. The Spanish international has in the past suffered from anxiety attacks brought about when he was too far away from home, which restricted his playing opportunities for the Spanish national team until 2009. Homesickness is one of the main reasons why he has stayed at Sevilla for his whole career so far. I draw a slight comparison to Jose Antonio Reyes, who also suffered from homesickness and left Arsenal because he had “not got used to the language or the weather”.
One player who almost definitely will joining Arsenal this summer is Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin. The BBC and Sky Sports are both reporting that the two clubs are nearing a deal which would see Sahin join on an initial season-long loan, with an option to buy. Jose Mourinho has all but confirmed that the Turkish midfielder will be joining the Premier League to gain some valuable experience, although the “Special One” doesn’t seem to care where he goes.
“The Premier League is a good place for players to pick up certain characteristics which he does not have.
“It is all the same to me though which club he goes to. I just hope that it happens soon for him, as it is best for him. I couldn’t care less if he goes to Arsenal, or Liverpool or Tottenham. I have no preference.”
As Mourinho has confirmed, Sahin has attracted the attention of several Premier League clubs. However, the lure of the Champions League seems to have worked in our favour. Arsene Wenger has confirmed that we are in for another midfield signing and it is looking increasingly likely that this player will be Sahin, not Yann M’Vila. The question I have is if Wenger would then sign Jesus Navas as well?