Six of the most ridiculous players linked with Arsenal during lockdown

Quick Reads

“The next transfer window, overall, we don’t know. I don’t think there will be a lot of movement.”

Arsenal‘s head of football Raul Sanllehi may have warned fans not to expect too much business whenever the transfer window next opens, but that hasn’t stopped the Gunners being linked with moves for numerous players in recent months.

We’ve sifted through the bullsh*t to pick out some of the rumours that don’t quite seem to add up.


Still only 22, it is now around five years since Gerson emerged as one of the most sought-after players in South America.

The midfielder eventually made the move to Europe by joining Roma in January 2016, only to flop in Italy’s capital and find himself loaned out to Fiorentina for a season before returning to Brazil with Flamengo.

Much like club team-mate Gabriel Barbosa, who joined Flamengo having struggled after making his own high-profile move to Serie A with Inter, Gerson has rediscovered his verve back in Brazil, helping the side win the title and Copa Libertadores.

The player’s father and agent, Marcos Santos, recently name-dropped Raul Sanllehi in an interview, claiming the Arsenal chief tried to sign his son while at Barcelona and suggesting the Gunners are now interested.

That has been picked up by English publications, but the very first paragraph of interview with Yahoo Sport suggests a move is unlikely: “Marcao revealed contacts from several clubs abroad, but assured that it is time to stay in Gavea.”

Santos himself suggests there have only been enquiries rather than firm interest from European clubs, adding: “The idea is to build a history in the club. We were always flamenguistas. Gerson is extremely happy.”

Federico Chiesa

Chiesa has been attracting admirers with his performances for Fiorentina since his breakthrough 2016-17 season in Serie A.

The forward has generally been linked with Juventus, Inter, Chelsea and Manchester United, although Arsenal’s name has been mentioned in recent weeks.

Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso has been open to the possibility of the 22-year-old leaving the club for the right price in the future, but the player himself told Corriere Dello Sport this month: “There are no negotiations, there is Fiorentina.”

Arsenal, meanwhile, aren’t exactly short of attacking options. Signing another winger while trying to convince Bukayo Saka to commit his future to the club might not be the best idea, either.

Giacomo Bonaventura

A strange rumour; Arsenal were linked with Bonaventura two years ago, since which the midfielder has made 17 Serie A starts across two seasons after suffering a serious knee injury.

Bonaventura is out of contract with Milan at the end of the season and has been linked with Atalanta, Fiorentina, Roma and Lazio.

Arsenal’s name seems to have become mentioned after he was included in an XI of potential free transfer targets by The Sun, although that XI also includes Tottenham stalwart Jan Vertonghen, PSG’s Edinson Cavani and Napoli’s Dries Mertens – none of whom seem particularly likely to move to the Emirates either.

Either way, earlier this month Bonaventura stopped following Milan on Instagram and started following former club Atalanta, the modern day equivalent of Peter Odemwingie rocking up outside Loftus Road. Although Odemwingie never joined QPR, so perhaps Bonaventura is off to Arsenal after all…

Nabil Fekir

Having come so close to join Liverpool in the summer of 2018, Fekir has been once again linked with a move to the Premier League as the Daily Star suggest Arsenal opened talks with Real Betis over a potential deal for the midfielder after deciding not to take up their option to sign Dani Ceballos permanently.

However, Marca report that Fekir is happy at Betis, who he only joined last summer, and would only leave the club for Real Madrid or Barcelona, with Betis president Angel Haro quoted: “We have spoken with Fekir and he is very satisfied, not with the team’s performance, but with his stay in Seville, and he wants to continue.

“We would like him to continue, he is a player of great quality, and from there we will see, but we have not planned the departure of this footballer.”

James Rodriguez

This, from January, still applies…

READ: Careless Whispers: Arsenal want James Rodriguez, just don’t ask who says so

Dejan Lovren

We’ll just leave this here, too. Or maybe it’s all just a big conspiracy – right, Dejan?

READ: Careless Whispers: Following the trail of Spurs & Arsenal’s ‘interest’ in Lovren

More Arsenal

Six impressive stats that show Mikel Arteta’s influence as an Arsenal player

Careless Whispers: Following the trail of Spurs & Arsenal’s ‘interest’ in Lovren

Can you name every member of Arsenal’s 01-02 Double-winning squad?

Ranking every midfielder Arsenal have signed since Cesc Fabregas left