Atalanta are interested in signing Nuno Tavares after their worst Serie A campaign in four years, but Arsenal are demanding a dry loan transfer or an option to buy worth almost a club-record for a sale.
Tavares only moved to the Emirates Stadium last July as Mikel Arteta’s first signing of the summer in a £7m deal with Benfica. The Portuguese could eventually cost the Gunners £8.5m after add-ons and headed to north London to backup Kieran Tierney on a four-year contract, plus an option for a fifth.
Arteta fielded the 22-year-old on 28 occasions across all competitions during his debut season at the club. Tavares only started 17 of his appearances, though, and only played 43 minutes in the Premier League from December 7 to April 15 in between Tierney suffering an ankle injury and knee surgery.
Atalanta are interested in Tavares but Arsenal demanding almost club-record sale
Tavares impressed during his first run of Premier League games as a regular starter in Tierney’s place from October to December. The Portugal U21 international showed promising attacking potential to drive up the left-hand channel and support Arsenal’s attacks, resulting in an assist against Newcastle.
But the promise the Lisbon native displayed faded drastically upon his return to the side to see out the season. Gone were the lung-busting performances, as opposition sides started to majorly exploit Tavares’ defensive shortcomings. Arteta also hooked the defender inside the first 45 minutes twice.
Now, Gianluca Di Marzio reports Atalanta are interested in signing Tavares from Arsenal as they look to bounce back from their worst Serie A campaign in four years. The Gewiss Stadium natives finished the 2021/22 season in just eighth-place, having sealed third during each of the previous three terms.
Yet Arsenal’s demands could prevent Tavares joining Atalanta, should the left-back be interested in a move. Gunners technical director Edu will only sanction a dry loan for the 2022/23 season, or with an option to buy for €40m (£34.5m). But La Dea refuse to meet the fee the Emirates hierarchy desire.
The €40m (£34.5m) price in question for Tavares amid Atalanta’s interest would almost mark a club-record sale for Arsenal. Only one player has ever departed north London for a higher guaranteed fee in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s transfer with Liverpool. So, who are Arsenal’s five record sales to date?
Arsenal earned club-record fee for sale when Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool
Arsenal earned a club-record fee for a sale when Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool for £35m in a last-gasp transfer in August 2017. The Gunners had originally agreed a £40m fee with Chelsea for the midfielder’s services. But he snubbed a switch to Stamford Bridge over fears of playing at wing-back.
Oxlade-Chamberlain also rejected a new contract at the Emirates worth £180k-a-week for a £120k-a/w deal at Anfield, per BBC Sport. He had entered the final year of his terms in north London after six seasons. Arsene Wenger signed the 35-cap England ace from Southampton for £12m up to £15m.
The Portsmouth-born dynamo enjoyed 198 appearances during his time in the capital after joining at 17-years-old. He also offered 20 goals and 32 assists, and has gone on to strike 17 and create 15 over 133 games for Liverpool in all competitions. But Oxlade-Chamberlain only started 17 during 2021/22.
Iwobi’s Everton switch could match Arsenal’s record fee for a sale
Alex Iwobi’s move to Everton in August 2019 could eventually match Arsenal’s club-record fee for a sale. The Toffees signed the Nigerian for an initial £28m under Marco Silva, with the fee potentially rising £7m with add-ons. But a move to Goodison Park has not seen the 26-year-old’s career thrive.
The 59-cap forward has only managed to score seven goals and assist a further seven from 97 games across all competitions so far. His single-season best for Premier League efforts also came during the 2021/22 campaign with two goals and two assists in 28 appearances, of which Iwobi started just 22.
Iwobi had provided 15 goals and 27 assists from 149 appearances across all competitions during his time in the Arsenal first-team. The Lagos native graduated from the Gunners’ academy to make his senior debut 2015 – 11 years after the nephew of Jay-Jay Okocha first joined the club’s youth ranks.
Barcelona paid Arsenal a potential £35m for Fabregas’ Camp Nou return
Cesc Fabregas could have seen Arsenal earn £35m after returning to Barcelona in August 2011. The Blaugrana signed the midfielder for an initial £25.5m, with £4.5m in add-ons based on the Camp Nou natives winning La Liga twice and the Champions League once through the following five campaigns.
Barcelona won La Liga with Fabregas once with the 2012/13 title, but he did not win the Champions League across 151 outings before joining Chelsea in 2014. Yet the Catalan giants did go on to win the Champions League again for their fourth title in the 2014/15 season with a La Liga and Copa del Rey.
Fabregas spent eight years at Arsenal after leaving Barcelona in his youth and went on to captain the club from 2008. He also became the Gunners’ youngest player in October 2003 after featuring in the EFL Cup at 16 years and 177 days. The Spaniard made 304 appearances and won the FA Cup in 2005.
Willock among Arsenal’s five club-record sales with 2021 Newcastle move
Joe Willock etched his name among Arsenal’s five club-record sales with a £25m move to Newcastle in August 2021. The midfielder had spent the second half of the 2020/21 season on loan at St James’ Park, where he became the youngest Premier League player to score in seven consecutive games.
Arteta let the 22-year-old move to Tyneside on loan after only making 17 of his 78 Arsenal outings in 2020/21. Willock had also only started two of his seven Premier League games totalling 234 minutes that term, with the Gunners product unable to establish a prominent presence under the Spaniard.
Overmars was Arsenal’s club-record sale for 11 years with Barcelona transfer
Marc Overmars was Arsenal’s club-record sale for 11 years before Fabregas returned to Barcelona, who had also signed the Dutchman from the Gunners for £25m in 2000. The forward moved to the Camp Nou alongside Emmanuel Petit, having won a Premier League title and FA Cup with the club.
His blistering pace contributed to the Gunners’ 1997/98 double-winning campaign during the 86-cap international’s debut season at Highbury. Wenger overlooked Overmars’ history with injuries to sign the diminutive wide man from Ajax, who helped transform Arsenal into a counter-attacking threat.