Arsenal appear to be actively looking to shift some first team players in an attempt to raise funds for further new arrivals.
According to SportBild (via Sport Witness), Bayer Leverkusen are amongst the clubs serious about a move for Arsenal left back Sead Kolasinac, who appears dispensable given the clubs current options. The German club are said to be set to start ‘concrete discussions’ this week.
Arsenal would surely like to keep the homegrown exciting duo of Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but that complicates things. The squad is overloaded in those areas currently. But with Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka showing their ability recently to perform well as left wing backs, is Kolasinac needed? Kieran Tierney is one of the first names on the teamsheets and in Niles and Saka and even Cedric, the Gunners have rotational options in that role.
Tierney has been playing as a left centre back recently, but with the arrival of Gabriel Magalhaes, it should eventually allow Tierney to play further forward.
Kolasinac and his £140,000 per week wages are likely to be the problem in moving him on. Whilst the Gunners are demanding a modest £9.1million, few clubs will be able to match the Bosnian’s wages at Arsenal currently.
Interestingly, Arteta playing Kolasinac as a left centre back in the latter months of the season may have helped put him in the shop window. According to the same report in SportBild, Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz wants his club to sign a ‘top defender’. Bosz has “six right footed centre-backs” at his disposal, and is looking for a left footed player. His (apparent) ability to play as both a centre back and left back will raise his appeal to potential suitors like Leverkusen.
The report goes on to say that Kolasinac could accept lower wages at the German club if they offer him bonuses and a longer deal.