Arsenal transfer news: Gelson Martins, Sven Mislintat, Bjorn Engels, Hector Bellerin
Thierry Henry hopes to beat his former club in race to sign winger Martins
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry is looking to hijack the Gunners’ loan move for Atletico Madrid winger Gelson Martins, according to reports.
The Frenchman has been in charge of Monaco since October, but he’s having a tough time of it lately and saw his side get thrashed 5-1 at home to Strasbourg at the weekend.
With Ligue 1 relegation staring Henry in the face, he’s hoping to sign the 23-year-old Martins this month.
That wouldn’t go down well at the Emirates, says talkSPORT, which claims that the Gunners are “understood to have made an offer to sign Martins on loan”.
The young winger moved to Spain from Sporting Lisbon last summer, but with only eight appearances to his name he is said to be feeling unsettled.
Portuguese newspaper O Jogo says Arsenal have “submitted a bid” to sign Martins on loan, but Henry is determined to beat his former club to the prize.
One advantage for Henry is that Arsenal no longer have a head of recruitment, following the resignation of Sven Mislintat. After less than two years in the role, Mislintat is leaving because “recent back-room developments have made his position untenable”, The Independent claims.
The newspaper says that since the exit of chief executive Ivan Gazidis to AC Milan, Mislintat has felt increasingly shut out, “with the club instead lining up former player Edu for the sporting director role he had craved”.
Belgian defender Bjorn Engels has hinted that he would love a move to Arsenal, but said he would never consider a move to Manchester United because his wife is a Liverpool fan.
The strapping centre-back is a target for several Premier League big guns after his assured performances for French club Reims this season.
With Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin expected to be out injured for the long term, and Rob Holding also absent, Gunners boss Unai Emery wants to shore up his defence this month.
Dream come true
The Manchester Evening News is reporting 24-year-old Engels’ comments to French daily L’Equipe about rumours linking him to England.
Explaining that his wife is from Liverpool, Engels said he would “never” sign to Old Trafford. But asked about a move to Arsenal, he replied: “It would be a dream.”
As for Bellerin, the Daily Mirror is one of several papers reporting that the Spaniard is out for the rest of the season after rupturing his cruciate knee ligament in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Chelsea.
The news is devastating for the player and his club, with the injury believed to be so severe that Bellerin may also miss the start of next season as he embarks on a long spell of rehab.