French-based journalist Matt Spiro has this afternoon provided an update on Arsenal’s proposed move for Christopher Nkunku, amid claims that AC Milan have joined the race for the PSG starlet.
Nkunku, a 21-year-old midfielder, came up through the youth ranks of PSG, before breaking into the club’s first-team setup in 2015.
And the French U21-international has since gone on to rack up a none-too-shabby 46 Ligue 1 appearances, notching 6 goals in the process.
To this point in the current campaign, meanwhile, Nkunku has been handed 6 league starts by Thomas Tuchel.
However, despite being highly-regarded at the Parc des Princes, question marks have been raised regarding whether the youngster will eventually develop into the type of top-class midfielder that PSG require in their pursuit of European glory.
As such, with Nkunku already sitting behind the likes of Marco Verratti and Julian Draxler in the pecking order in Paris, and Leandro Paredes having joined the capital giants from Zenit St. Petersburg last week, Nkunku has been linked with a potential PSG departure of late.
To this point, the club most persistently-touted as a potential destination for the gifted midfielder have been Premier League outfit Arsenal.
The Gunners are known to be on the lookout for January reinforcements in the middle of the park, having secured a deal for Barcelona’s Denis Suarez earlier today, and been linked with Everton’s Idrissa Gueye:
SKY SOURCES: Arsenal and Manchester City are interested in signing Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye. #SSN
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 29, 2019
‘Does not look good’
As such, Nkunku’s agent. Jose-Pierre Fanfan, was drawn on the links between his client and Arsenal during an interview with Canal+ last night.
The Frenchman, though, was pessimistic regarding the chances of a deal being struck before tonight’s transfer deadline:
‘I am here (in the studio) tonight, which is not a good sign. There is a real interest from Arsenal for Nkunku. But the discussions are quite complicated. There are restrictions from Arsenal’s side. They cannot do a (permanent) transfer in the middle of the season.’
‘It is still being discussed with PSG. Things could still happen in the next 48 hours, but as I said, the fact that I am here means that it does not look good.’
‘His situation will be evaluated in June. Then he will have just 1 year left on his contract, and his situation will need to be evaluated.’
‘He is a young boy, who needs to play, enjoy himself, and to sign up for a project for the long term. That is what he is looking for, and he was in that phase with Arsenal but it looks complicated. If we have to wait, then he is ready to do that. He will wait.’
And, as per the aforementioned update from Matt Spiro this evening, though Nkunku himself is keen on a move to the Emirates, Arsenal and PSG remain some distance apart on actually agreeing a deal:
Can confirm that #PSG midfielder Christopher Nkunku is still hoping to seal #Arsenal loan today. But as it stands the two clubs are worlds apart on valuation of buy option. PSG want significantly more than the €20m offered by Gunners
— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) January 31, 2019
Milan join the hunt
In addition, Arsenal are not the only club keen on a deadline-day swoop for Nkunku, with reports in Italy over the course of the day having confirmed the interest of AC Milan in the starlet’s signature.