Elneny Remains In Paris Hotel Ahead Of Arsenal Transfer
Mohamed Elneny looks set to become an Arsenal player. The FC Basel defensive midfielder is holed up in a hotel room in Paris as he awaits clearance following the Gunners’ application for a work permit. Arsenal are hoping the deal can be announced this week. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claimed last night that the deal was done.
The Daily Mirror claims Arsenal could lose Elneny for a year due to his requirement to complete national service in Egypt. But that may not be an issue for some years. He is 23 and needs either to complete his stint in his army by the time he is 30 unless he is given an exemption.
Meanwhile, Swiss website NordwestSchweiz claims the fee for Elneny is now 15million Swiss francs (£10.4million) – another increase on the £7.4million previously stated. That itself was an increase on the £5million initially being touted.
Work permits have become more difficult to attain for players from outside the EU but whose countries are not in Fifa’s top 50 rankings. Egypt are currently at number 57. In that case the fee comes into play with only the players commanding the highest fees being granted work permits. That may well have been the case with Elneny as Arsenal are forced to pay a much higher fee than they initially envisaged.
Arsenal Close In On Nigerian Duo
Arsenal have agreed a fee of £3million for Nigerian starlets Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze. The duo, who were both part of the Nigeria side that won the Under-17 World Cup in November, will sign professional contracts with the Gunners when they are 18. Nwakali is 17, Chukwueze is 16.
Arsenal will pay £3million to the Diamond Football Academy in Umuahia, Nigeria having beaten off competition from Manchester City and Bayern Munich.
What isn’t known is what will happen until the pair turn 18. Fifa regulations prohibit players under the age of 18 crossing national borders and Nwakali and Chukwueze may well have to remain in Nigeria before moving to Arsenal on their 18th birthdays.