Unai Emery could reunite with a former player as he looks to upgrade his midfield.
According to reports in Argentina, Emery has asked the Arsenal front office to sign Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega in the January transfer window. Banega reportedly has a nearly $23 million release clause in his contract, one that Arsenal are likely to be able to afford.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Banega was signed in January 2008 by Valencia from Boca Juniors, just months before Emery took over control of the club, leading them to top-four finishes in three of his four years at the club. Emery later signed Banega in 2014 when Emery was in his second season at Sevilla, and the two won a pair of UEFA Europa League titles togethers.
With Aaron Ramsey looking more likely that he’ll depart Arsenal, either in January for a fee or for free in the summer, Banega would be a terrific replacement, although it is a big risk. The 30-year-old Argentine has played well at national team level and at times for Sevilla and Valencia showed the impressive technical skill, passing vision and dribbling expertise that made him one of the world’s top prospects after the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. However, he’s never really been able to become a star at a major club. Banega was loaned back to Newell’s Old Boys while at Valencia and he only lasted one season at Inter Milan.
In addition, it’s unclear whether Banega speaks English yet, and it will be an adjustment to come to grips with the pace of the Premier League. If it works, though, it will give Arsenal another creative midfielder to work with.
Here are some more transfer rumors from across the Premier League:
Man City to sell Diaz to Real Madrid
Real Madrid is on the cusp of signing a young Spanish international.
According to multiple reports, Pep Guardiola has given his blessing to Brahim Diaz to leave Manchester City, where he’s making a reported $17.2 million transfer fee to the Estadio Bernabeu. Diaz has found playing time hard to come by in his natural attacking midfield role, with Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva and Bernardo Silva all ahead of Diaz in the pecking order. At Real Madrid, Diaz will also be on the fringe, but with Santiago Solari in charge, there may be a better chance for him to try a younger player in the starting eleven.
Diaz has made five Premier League appearances for Man City, but none this season. He reportedly told the club he wasn’t interested in signing a new contract, leading to his likely departure in January.