In today’s Arsenal news roundup, we have the latest regarding the Gunners pulling the plug on a move to sign a Ligue 1 midfielder, their interest in a La Liga defender, and more.
Arsenal not to sign Boubakary Soumare after landing Thomas Partey
Arsenal have pulled out of a move to sign Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare, according to reports. The Gunners had lined up a move for the French midfielder after intense scouting, with the 21-year-old considered as an alternative to Thomas Partey.
The Gunners eventually ended up paying the £45 million release clause of Partey to sign the midfielder from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day. Soumare would’ve been a cheaper, younger option than Partey, but the signing of the Ghanian international is a possible statement of intent from the club regarding their ambitions of competing for top honours.
Arsenal interested in signing Pau Torres
Arsenal are interested in the signing of Villarreal central defender Pau Torres, according to reports. The Spanish defender has been the subject of interest from Manchester United as well, with the Old Trafford club reportedly eyeing a deal for the 23-year-old in January.
Torres is valued at around £35 million by Villarreal who are open to selling the defender if they receive the ‘right’ price for the player. Arsenal, who are struggling for funds, are set to face stiff competition from United for the signature of Torres.
Arsene Wenger recalls a funny anecdote before signing Danny Welbeck
Legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed an interesting anecdote from his time at the helm of the Gunners. The Frenchman signed striker Danny Welbeck from Manchester United in 2014, but the striker was initially headed to Arsenal’s fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Speaking in a recent interview, Wenger revealed that he was part of a private audience with the Pope and was negotiating Welbeck’s transfer on the phone while waiting for a photoshoot with the Pope. Wenger said in this regard:
“At the airport, I was told he was signing for Tottenham, and I managed to intercept him. It was a funny story because I was negotiating all day. We had Ivan Gazidis and Dick Law to negotiate, and they called me up, and I had the agent on the phone. And I told him, ‘look, I have to hang up because I’m in front of the Pope'”.
“He said to me, ‘what?’ I said, “yes” because we were queuing to have a photo with the Pope in a private audience, and I was at the back of the queue because I had to talk and negotiate. I arrived in front of the Pope, and I had to say, ‘look, that’s not possible any more. I will meet the Pope now’. And we still signed him.”