Emery wants Sevilla’s Banega at the Emirate
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has reportedly urged the club’s hierarchy to make an attempt to sign Ever Banega from Spanish side Sevilla when the transfer window reopens at the turn of the year.
The Argentina international was strongly fancied for a reunion with Emery during the summer transfer window but a move could not materialise with Banega opting to stay put with the Andalusian club with a means to a contract extension.
However, nothing of that sort has progressed with the La Liga outfit and according to Rosario3 (via Talk Sport), the Gunners could revive their interest in the tenacious midfielder when the transfer windows restart next week.
It is added that the Argentine, who has previously featured under Emery at both Sevilla and Valencia, could be available for just £18m based on the supposed release clause written into his existing contract with Pablo Machin’s side.
Emery took the summer to recruit two central midfielders in the form of Lucas Torreira and Mateo Guendouzi and the duo have swiftly settled to the new surroundings with the former evolving into a major player in the club’s top-four pursuit.
Nonetheless, Emery seems interested in pursuing another midfielder with Aaron Ramsey likely to leave on a free transfer next summer and Banega appears to fit the bill, given his tenacity on the playing field.
At the age of 30, Banega certainly does not have time on his hands to go through an adapting period in the Premier League but he would certainly be a quality signing to feature ahead of Guendouzi, should he replicate the current form at Seville.
In the first half of the season, Banega has impressed with more duels and tackles than any of the current Arsenal midfielders and this tenacity to his game is something, which Emery appears to prefer as the club pushes for a top-four spot this term.
Arsenal lost ground on fourth-placed Chelsea by two points after the 1-1 draw at Brighton on Boxing Day. They have a tough-looking challenge at Liverpool bestowed upon them for the weekend.