In Brief

Arsenal transfer news: Pablo Fornals, Nikola Maksimovic, Ousmane Dembele

Villarreal midfielder Fornals is on Unai Emery’s new year shopping list

Gunners fancy Fornals

Arsenal are lining up a January move for Villarreal’s Spanish international midfielder Pablo Fornals.

According to The Sun, the 22-year-old is believed to be at the top of Unai Emery’s new year shopping list, and the Gunners are ready to meet the £17.8m release clause in his contract.

Emery is already scouting around for Aaron Ramsey’s replacement, and reportedly believes that Villarreal will be ready to sell Fornals in order to boost their bank balance. Languishing just above the relegation zone in La Liga, the Spaniards need money to bring in several new faces.

Meanwhile, Arsena are “prepared to offload outcast Mohamed Elneny to help fund the move”, with the Egyptian likely to be sold for £15m, the newspaper says. 

Red Devils lead Ramsey race

The latest news on Ramsey’s likely destination comes courtesy of the Daily Express, which claims that Manchester United are leading the race to sign the 27-year-old Welshman.

Last week it was suggested Bayern Munich were hopeful of securing a January deal for Ramsey, but “talk of a switch to Bayern is premature”, says the newspaper. Instead, the Red Devils are said to be ready to make a move for Ramsey, with United boss Jose Mourinho confident of persuading him to move to Old Trafford in the summer.

Making a move for Maksimovic

Arsenal’s chances of getting their hands on Nikola Maksimovic will depend on what sort of new contract offer he gets from Napoli.

According to talkSPORT, the Italian outfit are set to table a new deal to the 26-year-old, who has impressed since returning from a loan spell at Russian side Spartak Moscow last season.

Arsenal scouts have been spying on Maksimovic, and it’s believed that manager Emery is ready to swoop for the Serbia international.

But a transfer “could be difficult as Napoli are looking to extend his contract”, with a hefty pay rise likely as they try to secure his loyalty.

Dembele for sale?

Talking of loyalty, the Daily Mirror says that Ousmane Dembele “has been issued an ultimatum by Barcelona” after his commitment to the club was cast into doubt.

The French forward, who arrived at the Camp Nou in 2017 in a £93.4m move from Borussia Dortmund, is apparently “failing to impress the club’s chiefs”.

Why? Because of the 21-year-old’s attitude. In fact, the newspaper says that the Catalan club is nearing the end of its tether with the frustrating Frenchman.

According to Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona have ruled out the possibility of selling Dembele in January, but could be ready to offload him next summer.

The Mirror reports that Liverpool and Arsenal are leading the chase for the young frontman, but warns that “any club interested in recruiting Dembele would have to stump up £89m”.

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