Rumoured Arsenal target Yannick Carrasco has today been slapped with a fine and suspension, on the back of a number of disciplinary breaches.
Carrasco moves to China
25-year-old wide-man Carrasco made the surprise move to Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang in February of last year, following a two-and-a-half year stint with La Liga giants Atletico Madrid.
The Belgian endured an up-and-down stint with Los Colchoneros, with the highlight of Carrasco’s time with Diego Simeone’s men having come in May of 2016, when he netted a late equaliser in the Champions League final versus Real Madrid, eventually sending the clash to Extra-Time.
However, his inconsistencies soon led to the Genk youth product being heavily-linked with a departure from the Spanish capital.
And, despite rumoured interest from the likes of Juventus and Arsenal, Carrasco eventually opted to join Chinese club Dalian Yifang.
Carrasco a wanted man
However, countless reports this past January suggested that Carrasco was already eyeing a return to Europe.
The interest of both Arsenal and United was even confirmed by Carrasco’s wife during the winter transfer window.
Speaking in an interview with RTBF, Noemie Happart revealed:
‘Yes, they are very interested. I do not hide it, but nothing is signed.’
And, on the back of speculation that Arsenal were ready to reignite their interest in coaxing Carrasco to the Emirates this summer, a major claim two weeks ago suggested that the Gunners were closing on a deal for the versatile Belgian.
Nicolo Schira of the Gazzetta Dello Sport stated that the north Londoners were in ‘advanced talks’ with Dalian Yifang over securing Carrasco’s signature:
#Carrasco wants to return in Europe from Cina and go to #EPL. #Arsenal are in advanced talks to sign him from #DalianYifang. He was courted by #Gunners last January, but #Emery opted to sign Denis Suarez on loan, because chinese asked €30M. #transfers #AFC
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) June 7, 2019
And widespread updates regarding Carrasco’s potential Arsenal switch subsequently spread across the European media over the days that followed:
Arsenal have reached an agreement with Yannick Carrasco to bring the Belgian to the Premier League, while a deal with Dalian Yifang is close to being concluded. [Various] pic.twitter.com/irT8v7OYvG
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) June 11, 2019
The last 10 days, however, during which it had been widely-predicted that a deal would be formalised, have seen updates slow to a worrying degree.
And the Arsenal faithful do not appear to be the only ones who have been left frustrated by the lack of recent progress towards an agreement being reached.
Carrasco himself has today been punished, after seemingly allowing his grievances to get the better of him.
Dalian Yifang have released an official statement, confirming that the club have opted to fine and suspend their Belgian star.
This comes after Carrasco did not show up to the club’s most recent fixture, versus Hebei Huaxia, after returning late from international duty.
The 25-year-old has also been accused of not taking Dalian’s training sessions seriously.
Arsenal’s transfer dealings ‘stall’
The Evening Standard, meanwhile, have since provided an update on Arsenal’s proposed move for Carrasco, as well as the Gunners’ interest in Bournemouth star Ryan Fraser.
The situation, however, is far from a positive one for the north Londoners.
Deals for both players are said to have ‘stalled’.
In the case of Carrasco, Dalian remain undecided regarding whether or not they are ready to part ways with Carrasco, with the Chinese outfit and Arsenal yet to agree on a fee. The former are said to rate the winger at around £30 million.
On Ryan Fraser, meanwhile, a deal also appears to be some way off completion. Arsenal are hopeful of the Scottish wide-man attempting to force a move away from Bournemouth, but Fraser has, to this point, shown no willingness to delve down such a route.
Standard reporter James Olley, though, adds that neither deal is yet considered as ‘dead’:
‘The moves for Carrasco and Fraser are not considered dead but Arsenal are likely to have to dip further into their £40m summer budget – excluding player sales – than they originally hoped in order to complete either deal.’
Arsenal reassess transfer targets as Carrasco and Fraser deals stall
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) June 21, 2019