As expected, Man City won last night, cutting our lead at the top to 5 points. Erling Haaland says they have to ‘hunt Arsenal’.
Anyway, a couple of days ago I wrote about Joao Felix and rumours of a possible loan move to Arsenal. I was doubtful because of the figures that were doing the rounds. A high loan fee + very high wages made it seems unlikely to me. However, it seems that there is some genuine interest in the deal, with David Ornstein talking about it on NBC last night.
He confirmed the continued interest in Mykhaylo Mudryk, then said:
They’re also keen to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid. He’s been offered to a number of clubs, but at the moment the numbers are too high … Manchester United, Chelsea, many others.
Jorge Mendes, his agent, knows he needs to move Joao Felix because he’s out of favour at Atletico Madrid.
Arsenal are keen to do it, but the numbers would need to come down for that to happen. And I think probably they will. It would only be a six-month loan and that’s going to be be very expensive. But he is a high-quality player.
Almost two years ago, we brought in an out of favour player from Madrid: Martin Odegaard is now the captain of the club and one of the Premier League’s best players. Felix is out of favour at Atletico, rather than Real, and although it’s no guarantee that lightning will strike twice, but there’s a nice kind of synchronicity to this if it did go through. We also have a link to Jeorge Mendes via Fabio Vieira, who is represented by his agency.
For a bit more on the player himself, here’s an interesting profile piece which highlights some of what he could bring to the team. The question will be how quickly can he adapt to the Premier League – but you would imagine that’s something the manager and the Technical Director will have taken into account if it’s truly a deal they are looking to get done. I saw one journalist suggest that Arteta has some doubts over Felix (whether that’s the player or the deal itself I don’t know) – and that he has interest in another attacker currently playing in La Liga.
I suppose what makes it most interesting is that it looks as if we’re after two players. With Shakhtar digging their heels in over Mudryk, that’s one that might take a bit of time to come to its conclusion, so perhaps interest in Felix or someone else is because we feel we can get it done in a more timely fashion.
It would certainly be a hell of a window if we signed Mudryk and brought Joao Felix/A N OTHER in on loan, and you wonder if the position we’re in and the opportunity we’ve given ourselves to compete for the title has played into the decision making in January.
David Ornstein continued on NBC:
Arsenal know they need to kick on in the transfer market, if they want to make that final push for the Premier League title.
The Kroenkes, the ownership, are backing them to go and get that title.
We saw Mikel Arteta and Edu in the US before the resumption of the Premier League, and Stan and Josh were in town for the West Ham game. Some of that, I’m sure, is about being present and visible as owners – but you have to think that discussions about how to bolster the squad when the window opens in just a couple of days time have been part and parcel of that too.
We know for sure that the manager wants more firepower. He, as much as anyone, knows what it might take to scrap all the way with Man City for the title. He’ll also have looked at his bench for the game against West Ham and known that there’s a very heavy burden on his starting XI, without too much on the bench to change things if required. It’s great for Amario Cozier-Duberry to be in the squad, but in reality, it’s as much about a gap in our attacking depth than his potential.
It looks very much like we want to address that in this window, so let’s see how it all plays out.