Arsenal have begun talks with Atletico Madrid over the potential transfer of centre back Jose Gimenez. The 21-year-old is valued at £40 million by his club who are in no rush to complete any potential deal (via The Mail).
Arsenal’s defensive crisis was no secret before last Sunday’s match but the embarrassing 4-3 home defeat to Liverpool only raised awareness of the team’s need for reinforcements. With Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista out long term and Laurent Koscielny only just returning to fitness, Arsenal are left with youngsters Rob Holding and Calum Chambers at the back.
Even without the injuries, Arsenal are in need of a defensive upgrade with Koscielny and Mertesacker both into their thirties. Shkodran Mustafi was expected to be the man to replace the pair but The Mail are now claiming that the club have turned their attentions to Jose Gimenez.
Gimenez is 21 years old and has played under Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid since 2013. He has 21 caps for Uruguay and represented his country during the 2014 World Cup. Gimenez is a potentially excellent central defender with incredible physicality, intelligence on the ball, and the sort of attitude you’d expect from a player managed by Simeone. Now the former Danubio FC man is a target for the Gunners.
“As of Wednesday afternoon,” The Mail reports, “Arsenal are continuing talks with Atletico Madrid, who are demanding a fee in the region of £40 million for the defender.
Gimenez is believed to be open to a move to London and the Premier League but the Gunners are balking at Atletico’s current valuation.”
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That seems to be a familiar theme of the summer. It’s obvious that transfer fees are at a ridiculous level right now and that Arsenal’s need for reinforcements is well known. Rival clubs have leverage over The Gunners in negotiations and the club therefore can’t expect to pick up discount deals. Money is all well and good but it’s useless sitting in the bank while the team is losing Premier League points on the pitch.