Meet Mohamed Elneny, Arsenal’s new Egyptian midfielder
It is believed that Arsenal are just waiting for the transfer window to open in January to announce the acquisition of Basel midfielder, Mohammed Elneny.
The Gunners have struck a deal, expected to be worth £5 million, to take Elneny from Switzerland to north London
It is understood that all is left is for Arsenal to agree personal terms and for Elneny to undergo a medical and the deal could be announced within days of the January window being open for business.
It is also likely to be the only deal Arsenal do in the January window.
The Egyptian midfielder Elneny fits the profile perfectly because he is good value, he has good energy and has impressed with good performances to help Basel go top of the Swiss League.
But Elneny is not a classic holding midfielder and can be an asset to the squad in the long term without being a short-term fix while Francis Coquelin out injured.
Elneny can do a similar job to Mathieu Flamini who – like Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky – are out of contract at the end of the season and are set to leave on free transfers next summer.
Arsenal will still go for a bigger deal next summer with Southampton’s Victor Wanyama their number one target as a holding midfielder. But Southampton do not want to sell in January and will demand in excess of £20m, which may put Arsenal off.
They have looked at Sevilla’s Grzegorz Krychowiak in the past but, again, the price has always put them off. The Polish midfielder has even hired English agents to get him a deal and Arsenal have told them no go.
But the signing of Elneny is a perfect option as it bridges the gap and allows them time to get a big deal done in the summer.
Elneny was allowed to fly home for Christmas but is expected to travel back to London to complete the move to Arsenal.
In the meantime, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Coquelin could all be back in action in February after long term injuries.
It is believed Wenger will not do a striker because Wenger believes he has depth in the squad and would again rather wait for the summer.
Arsenal have looked at Dynamo Moscow striker Aleksandr Kokorin in the summer but could not agree a deal.
•Culled from mirror.co.uk
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