In Brief

Arsenal transfer news: Aissa Mandi, Fernando Calero, Kevin Malcuit, Ivan Perisic

Unai Emery’s search for defensive reinforcements continues

With January’s transfer window closing at 11pm on Thursday, time is running out for Unai Emery to bolster his injury-hit back four in order to have any hope of steering Arsenal into a top-four finish in the Premier League. 

According to The Sun, The Arsenal boss is considering several options, with Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi high up on his wish list.

The big problem is that Emery “would not be able to afford his whopping £27m asking price until the summer”, the newspaper says. Mandi is under contract until 2021, and it seems Real Betis aren’t interested in loaning out the 27-year-old. 

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s Plan B - Medhi Benatia - is no longer an option after the Juventus defender signed for Qatari club Al-Duhail.

Other options

If Arsenal fail to land Mandi, the Sun believes Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is an option, although the Blues may be “reluctant” to sell to such a fierce rival.

That’s also likely to be the case with Man Utd’s Eric Bailly, so Emery might target Real Valladolid defender Fernando Calero instead.

The 23-year-old has a release clause of £10m, which is just within Arsenal’s budget, although they may face competition from Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla.

Italian job

Another name thrown into the mix is Napoli right-back Kevin Malcuit, who according to the Daily Mail is being tracked by the Gunners.

The 27-year-old former Lille defender is seen as ideal cover for Hector Bellerin, but while Malcuit’s agent, Bruno Satin, has acknowledged there has been interest from “a London club”, he ruled out a move.

All the same, the Mail reckons Malcuit “could be allowed to depart in the final days of the transfer window”. 

Perisic’s price

Finally, the Daily Mirror says that Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic could “earn a hefty sum should he seal a move to Arsenal”.

The Croatian handed in a transfer request on Sunday and speculation is growing that the 29-year-old will make a loan move to the Emirates within the next 48 hours.

The Mirror says that Arsenal are “willing to offer” Perisic £2.5m until the end of the season, a sum that would rise to £5.6m a year (£107,000 a week) if he signs a permanent contract in June.

This week’s Premier League fixtures and TV guide

Tuesday 29 January (7.45pm unless stated)
  • Arsenal vs. Cardiff City 
  • Fulham vs. Brighton & Hove Albion 
  • Huddersfield Town vs. Everton 
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. West Ham United 
  • Manchester United vs. Burnley (8pm) 
  • Newcastle United vs. Manchester City (8pm, live on BT Sport 1
Wednesday 30 January (7.45pm unless stated)
  • AFC Bournemouth vs. Chelsea 
  • Southampton vs. Crystal Palace 
  • Liverpool vs. Leicester City (8pm, live on BT Sport 1) 
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Watford (8pm) 
Saturday 2 February (3pm unless stated)
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle United (12.30pm, live on Sky Sports
  • Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Watford 
  • Burnley vs. Southampton 
  • Chelsea vs. Huddersfield Town 
  • Crystal Palace vs. Fulham 
  • Everton vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers 
  • Cardiff City vs. AFC Bournemouth (5.30pm, live on BT Sport 1) 
Sunday 3 February
  • Leicester City vs. Manchester United (2.05pm, live on Sky Sports) 
  • Manchester City vs. Arsenal (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports) 
Monday 4 February
  • West Ham United vs. Liverpool (8pm, live on Sky Sports)

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