It is being widely reported that Arsenal are eyeing up a shock move for Manchester City’s winger Jesus Navas to help combat their growing injury list and keep their hopes of domestic and European glory on track.
The 30-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium following the arrival of Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, and this pair has driven a slight change in shape at City – a certain narrowing – that doesn’t suit Navas’ rather one-dimensional wing play.
Arsenal have seen Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck all struck down with injury – all three of whom can occupy the flanks – and Arsene Wenger is seeking reinforcements as he tries to save the Gunners’ season from fizzling out after such a bright start.
“We are in a position where we want to do something,” Wenger said when asked about the club’s plans for the transfer window. “I love a bargain. Who doesn’t love a bargain? A bargain for us is to buy players of top quality, because only top quality strengthens our squad.”
Navas fits the bill given Wenger’s penchant for a 4-5-1 formation, and it is likely that he wouldn’t command too high a transfer fee; thus Wenger’s desire for a ‘bargain’ could be satisfied.
These two clubs are no strangers when it comes to transfer dealings, with Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna all heading north or south down the M1 at various points through the years.
So Manuel Pellegrini might be open to the deal if the funds can be used to strengthen other areas of the pitch – a new centre half would help – and Navas himself might fancy the move to cosmopolitan London and with Euro ’16 on the horizon. If he isn’t enjoying first team football, it is unlikely that he will force his way into Vicente Del Bosque’s squad.
It would surely be with a heavy heart though should he move on. The 30-year-old followed Pellegrini to City from La Liga, and has enjoyed the chance to get his hands on plenty of silverware in his two-and-a-half year stint at the club. They completed that famous Premier League win and lifted the Capital One Cup in his first season in Manchester, and while last season was a bit of a damp squib their supporters have high hopes for another league triumph this time around.
They might just have to make do without the services of Jesus Navas.