Transfer Talk: Arsenal to break bank to sign Koscielny replacement


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Top Story: Arsenal identify Koscielny replacement

With Laurent Koscielny not turning up for Arsenal’s preseason tour of the United States, the Gunners suddenly find themselves light in experience when it comes to the heart of defence. And so, to the market the club turns.

The Mail reports that the North London side have turned their attentions to Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias — again. Arsenal reportedly considered a move for the Portugal international at the start of this window, but abandoned the idea because of cost.

The Portugal international has a buyout clause of £54 million, and with a reported transfer budget of a measly £40m, it’s hard to see the math adding up to a deal in the Gunners’ favour. But try they will, as the report suggests they will attempt to negotiate a lower initial fee with further add-ons.

With Koscielny essentially on strike and Arsenal looking to rid themselves of Shkodran Mustafi, they’ll need to find a way to add defensive reinforcements — and fast.

High price tags mean Pogba, Lukaku to remain at Old Trafford

With sources telling ESPN FC that with Manchester United putting a price tag of £150m on Paul Pogba, it seems that Romelu Lukaku also is unlikely to leave, due to a pretty hefty price tag.

Lukaku will be staying despite the reports linking him to Inter Milan due to a £90m valuation, according to the Telegraph.

Inter, who had been thought to be interested in the Belgian partly because of the appointment of Antonio Conte as manager, have proposed £9m to loan him for two seasons then an obligation to buy at £53.7m.

United brought in Lukaku from Everton for £75m and are hoping for a price that comes closer to — if not more than — the original amount.

Tap-ins

– Everton might be looking at Manchester City’s Fabian Delph, according to Sky Sports. Delph has racked up six trophies in his four years at the Etihad, but he looks to be inching toward a move to Goodison Park for around £9m.

– West Ham missed out on Maxi Gomez, and Callum Wilson, and Duvan Zapata, but the Mail writes that the Hammers expect to finalise a £36m deal for Eintracht Frankfurt forward Sebastien Haller in the coming days — despite only registering their interest on Wednesday.

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