Roma are ready for a transfer tussle with Arsenal over Algerian international Yacine Brahimi, according to Italian outlet Repubblica.
They report that the Serie A club want the free agent winger to replace Stephan El Shaarawy, who is bound for a move to the Chinese Super League so badly that he’s their top target.
But there is apparently an acknowledgement in Rome that getting Brahimi – on the back of a season where he scored 13 goals (Transfermarkt) for Porto before his contract came to an end – will be complicated by Arsenal’s interest.
At 29, perhaps Brahimi doesn’t have the age profile many top clubs are looking for these days, but the fact he is available on a free looks to have made him more appealing.
After a summer where they have been linked with the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Ryan Fraser, getting the ageing Brahimi in on a free would likely be slightly underwhelming for the Gunners fans.
The nature of the club’s financial situation may necessitate a move for him – but it would surely be better to simply hand an opportunity to Reiss Nelson if a big-money winger doesn’t come in.
Also, free agents generally demand higher wages these days – which is part of the reason why Arsenal couldn’t keep Aaron Ramsey – so the Brahimi deal may not come cheap, especially as it’s likely to be his last big contract.