Johan Djourou’s agent has confirmed that Arsenal have received an offer of €10 million for the Switzerland international, who is considering his options after falling down Arsène Wenger’s pecking order. Djourou started only 14 Premier League games last season and recently admitted that he was considering moving clubs in order to guarantee more game time.
Speaking to Italian radio station Radio Crc, Flavio Ferraria said that his client would prefer to move to Italy but would also consider playing in Spain. Napoli are the club that are being heavily linked with a move for the 25-year-old, while there were also rumours last week that West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is monitoring his situation.
“Can Djourou join Napoli? It’s certainly possible, especially as we will be in Italy next week for a series of appointments.
“At the moment Napoli are not on the list of appointments, but everything is possible. If he leaves the Premier League, then he will play in Italy or Spain.
“I saw my client the other day and he was enthusiastic about both Napoli and Italy in general. So far we have received an offer worth €10m, but it is up for negotiation.
“He wants to play for one of the top five Italian clubs.”
The fact that Djourou wants out is hardly surprising; he barely featured for Arsenal last season and when he did it was often out of position. With Mertesacker back from injury and Vermaelen/Koscielny ever present in the starting XI, Johan would hardly get a game next season. I am sure that he would be perfectly competent in Italy, but he is simply not suited to playing week-in, week-out in the Premier League.
Arsenal are thought to be lining up a bid for Napoli attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik as a potential replacement for Cesc Fabregas. It would seem that Marseille are extremely reluctant to let Mathieu Valbuena move to the Premier League, so Arsène Wenger has instead set his sights on the captain of the Slovakian international team.
However, Napoli will not part company with the 23-year-old easily. Their President even came out this week and gave him a €100 million price-tag. Yes, Hamsik still has 4 years remaining on his contract (so Napoli are in an extremely good position and can to some extent dictate the terms of any transfer), but €100 million seems to me to be completely ludicrous. Maybe that just shows how desperate the Italians are to hold on to him?
To that end, the club’s coach, Walter Mazzarri, remains confident that Hamsik will remain at the club. Apparently he is enjoying life in Italy and is looking forward to playing in the Champions League next season. Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Mazzarri said:
“Marek is happy to work with me and he is very motivated. He is happy to remain here… I have spoken to him and from what I know, in the end he will not leave.”
In my opinion, Napoli would find it extremely difficult to turn down an offer in the region of £25 million – you can see the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea offering this almost immediately and beating us to his signature. That said, if Arsenal and Napoli were somehow able to agree a fee later on in the summer, then Hamsik would be a near-perfect signing for the club. His stats over the last few seasons (47 goals and 21 assists in 168 games) show that he creates many goal-scoring opportunities and it is also worth noting that he has a good injury record – which is something that cannot be said for many of the current Arsenal players.