Atalanta chief comments on club’s interest in Arsenal star Nuno Tavares
Arsenal star Nuno Tavares has emerged as a summer target for Atalanta but the Serie A giants have admitted it might be difficult to pursue such a deal.
The Gunners are set to be busy in the transfer market and several signings are expected to follow the recent arrival of Fabio Vieira from Porto.
To that effect, it won’t be out of place to expect that a number of Arsenal stars could yet leave the club. Nuno Tavares falls in that category and could find himself surplus to requirements despite joining only last summer from Benfica.
However, given that the Portuguese still has four years left on his current contract and is also still only 22, it is understandable that Arsenal would want a ‘respectable’ amount for the defender.
Reports claim Mikel Arteta is open to letting Tavares leave the club but only for the right price. Italian outfit Atalanta have publicly expressed their interest in the Arsenal defender but it could turn out to be a herculean task.
Atalanta face difficult mission in Tavares’ pursuit
Lee Congerton, a major chief at Atalanta and also the head of senior recruitment at the club, has admitted that it is difficult to sway players away from the Premier League. His comments come in the wake of his side’s interest in Tavares.
Admittedly, players hardly leave the Premier League for another league, except on the rare occasion where they have spent several years at one side and are simply on the hunt for another challenge or in search of regular game time.
Congerton has revealed that he holds a long-time interest in the 22-year-old and did not deny at all that Atalanta were exploring the possibility of signing the defender.
Tavares is yet to fully settle in the Arsenal squad but there were times when he apparently struggled and looked not good enough, while he filled in as cover for the injured Kieran Tierney. That may force Arsenal to sell the player but there is nothing definitive at the moment.
Speaking on Tavares, Congerton said: “I’ve followed Tavares since he was playing for Benfica’s youth team, he’s a strong player.
“But Tavares is under contract with Arsenal - and it’s really difficult to sign players from Premier League clubs”.
Arsenal already in search of Tavares replacement?
Arsenal’s recent transfer activity could yet indicate that the club is indeed planning to let go of Tavares. The Portuguese was brought in as an understudy to Kieran Tierney but largely underwhelmed when he was given chances to shine.
Arsenal are now strongly interested in another left-back in Lisandro Martinez, who plies his trade with Ajax.
Martinez is said to be strongly considering an exit and fancies the idea of moving to the Premier League. However, reports claim that the Dutch giants have already rejected a £25.8m bid from Arsenal and are holding out for £43m for the 24-year-old.
The Gunners are expected to return with a better offer but it remains to be seen if they will splash that much on a ‘backup’ option, given their pursuit of other targets as well.
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