Arsenal set to sign Barcelona star as Ozil replacement as part of £160m Gunners spending spree
Arsenal are planning for life without Mesut Özil by targeting a summer move for Barcelona outcast Arda Turan this summer, as per The Sun.
Reports in Turkey suggest the Gunners have identified the 30-year-old as the man to replace Özil, who could depart the Emirates Stadium soon with his contract running down. The German playmaker has just over a year to run and doubts remain as to whether he will sign a new deal. Speculation is growing that he will seek assurances before committing to the Gunners.
But the club have a contingency plan in place and it is believed the Blaugrana will allow Turan to leave the Camp Nou for as little as £20million, half the price he joined from Atletico Madrid for in 2015. With Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez all ahead of him in the pecking order, he has struggled to assert himself under Luis Enrique.
Big changes are expected at both Barcelona and Arsenal this summer. Luis Enrique has already announced his departure from the Catalan club, while Arsene Wenger is yet to commit to the Gunners. The 67-year-old has been in charge for 21 years but his popularity with fans is decreasing, with many hoping he does not sign a new contract with his current deal expiring in the summer. Despite not yet commenting, Wenger claims he has made a decision.
Whether he stays or not, Arsenal are set for a huge overhaul, with Turan leading the changes. Their other star, Alexis Sanchez, is in the same contractual situation as Özil and could leave, with Everton’s Ross Barkley, Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus and Celtic’s Moussa Dembele also on the list of potential targets.
But Turan remains the main priority, with Arsenal hopeful whoever is in charge can get the best out of him like Diego Simeone did at Atletico Madrid.
Although the Gunners look set to miss out on the Champions League for the first time under Wenger, he is expected to stay. The lack of elite football next season could sway players away from signing for the club, and the Frenchman has previously failed to spend big money when it is expected.
Turan never really got going at Barcelona, perhaps because he signed in the midst of a FIFA transfer ban so could not play for the first six months of his career with the Spanish champions.