Lichtsteiner Set For Arsenal Move
Arsenal are set to sign Juventus full-back Stephane Lichtsteiner in the first major signing of the Unai Emery era.
The 34-year-old will leave Juve when his contract with the Serie A side formally expires at the end of next month.
According to the Evening Standard, Lichtsteiner has already visited the club’s London Colney training complex and has entered into talks over a contract with the Gunners. He is free to speak to clubs outside Italy.
The news will surprise many Arsenal fans. Arsene Wenger rarely signed players over 30 and existing players only got one-year deals once they got past that age.
It is expected that Switzerland international Lichsteiner will act as a squad player rather than as a first-choice member of the side. That would ease the pressure on Hector Bellerin whose 4131 minutes was more than any other Arsenal player last season.
The former Grasshoppers, Lille and Lazio player joined Juve in 2011. He has won the Serie A title with the Turin club in each of his seven years there along with four Coppa Italia-winners medals.
Arsenal In Seri Battle
Arsenal will face competition from Napoli for the midfielder Jean-Michael Seri. The Ivory Coast international has caught the eye of a number of clubs with his performances with Ligue 1 side Nice.
Arsenal were interested last summer when Arsene Wenger was in charge but Nice’s price tag of €50million (£43million) was more than the club was willing to pay.
Barcelona thought they were close to a €50million deal only for Nice to add an additional €10million to the price.
Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with Seri. Now, the Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport has added Napoli to the list of Seri’s admirers.
The 26-year-old is reported to have a release clause of €40million (£35million) in his contract with Nice. That isn’t true. Release clauses are illegal in Ligue 1 although clubs sometimes get round that by having a second contract in place. But given that Nice scuppered a €50million bid last summer it is unlikely they will settle for less this time.