football

Arsenal copied Bruno Fernandes transfer tactic in Albert Sambi Lokonga negotiations


Arsenal have been accused of copying Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer ploy in their pursuit of Albert Sambi Lokonga. Spurs added some bizarre clauses in their failed bid for Bruno Fernandes two seasons ago, and the Gunners are attempting the same.

Tottenham’s speculative offer for Fernandes in the summer of 2019 included some terms that drew scorn from Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas.

“The only serious proposal, which was still only verbal, was a €45m bid from Tottenham for Bruno Fernandes, plus €20m in goals,” Varandas said.

“Twenty million in goals which were about Tottenham becoming the Premier League winners, which they never were, and winning the Champions League, which has also never happened.

“So I found these goals extremely imposs…. difficult to accomplish. And I understood not to sell Bruno Fernandes.”

But Arsenal may be about to get away with a similar tactic in their negotiations with Anderlecht over the signing of Sambi Lokonga.

READ MORE: Premier League done deals: Every confirmed transfer in the top flight

The 21-year-old midfielder is a known target of the Gunners, and transfer chiefs at the Emirates have reportedly added clauses about being Premier League champions next season into their opening offer for the Belgian.

Anderlecht rejected the cheeky bid, but reports in Voetbal Krant suggest that further negotiations have been more successful.

Sambi Lokonga’s signing could signal the start of a spending spree at Arsenal, with the club reportedly willing to spend as much as £250million to secure their preferred targets, as Arteta looks to build a squad capable of lifting Arsenal back to the top tier of English football.

Yves Bissouma, James Maddison, Norwich full-back Max Aarons and Brighton centre-half Ben White are also all of interest to Arsenal.

And the five players are all under 25, fitting the preferred profile of the club’s transfer targets, as they prioritise players with growth and sell-on value.

The club have already made one big move to strengthen their squad in the long-term, but securing left-back Kieran Tierney to a long-term contract.

And Arteta feels that Tierney has the calibre to even captain the Gunners one day.

“I think he can be Arsenal captain as he has the respect and admiration of every member of the staff and every player,” the Arsenal head coach said.

“It is just the way he is. He does it in a natural way.

“He is a really shy boy as well but he represents all of us in the club; all of the values that we want to instil and are in the DNA in this club.”





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