HomeTransfersArsenal 'still hold the advantage' despite Benfica 'rushing' to complete £35m transfer

Arsenal ‘still hold the advantage’ despite Benfica ‘rushing’ to complete £35m transfer

Arsenal ‘still hold the advantage’ despite Benfica ‘rushing’ to complete £35m transfer

Despite Benfica’s eagerness to swiftly secure a deal for 22-year-old Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu this summer, Arsenal is said to have the upper hand in the race to sign him.

The Gunners are reportedly determined to strengthen their midfield options in the coming weeks, as manager Mikel Arteta aims to ready his team for a renewed pursuit of the Premier League championship in the upcoming season.

Kokcu has gained favor among influential figures at the Emirates Stadium, particularly after his impressive performances helped Feyenoord secure their first Dutch title in six years. As a result, he has attracted interest from top clubs, with both Arsenal and Benfica being prominent suitors.

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According to Record, Benfica is determined to expedite their efforts to secure Kokcu’s signature, fearing that Arsenal may outmaneuver them if they delay their pursuit any further. They are keen to finalize a deal as soon as possible. However, meeting Feyenoord’s asking price, which is reportedly around £35 million, poses a challenge for Benfica.

To potentially mitigate the transfer fee, Benfica could propose including a substantial sell-on clause in their offers for Kokcu. They believe that this arrangement, considering their track record of developing and selling young players for significant profits, could help in lowering the overall cost. Nonetheless, Arsenal maintains the advantageous position in signing the midfielder due to their status in the Premier League, which is regarded as a more enticing league compared to Portugal’s top flight.

Arsenal is not only well-positioned to meet the entirety of Kokcu’s asking price but they are also considering other options to strengthen their central midfield ahead of the upcoming Premier League campaign. In addition to their interest in Kokcu, the Gunners have been linked with a strong desire to sign Declan Rice, the captain of West Ham. Furthermore, despite failing to secure his services in January, Arsenal reportedly maintains their interest in Brighton playmaker Moises Caicedo.

Former Feyenoord player Jan Boskamp has already urged Arsenal to pursue a summer transfer for Kokcu. Boskamp believes that the 22-year-old Feyenoord midfielder would be an ideal replacement for Granit Xhaka, especially if the 30-year-old Swiss international departs the club before the start of the next season.

“If I could say it, I would send him to Arsenal,” he told Koffie met Boskamp. “Why? Because there is a lot of footballing ability in that team and there are many young boys out there, and that Swiss [Xhaka], I think he is on his last legs.”

Boskamp further emphasized that Kokcu’s emergence as a crucial figure at Feyenoord can be attributed to his remarkable leadership qualities. “You can see that he enforced it, he has become an extension of the trainer. You can see on the field that he has grown compared to last year.

“He takes the corners and the free kicks. If he chases through and others don’t participate, you see him shouting: ‘Hey, join us’. He didn’t do that a year and a half ago. Now he’s the big man in midfield.”

Arsenal ‘still hold the advantage’ despite Benfica ‘rushing’ to complete £35m transfer

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