Arsene Wenger has reopened his pursuit of Alvaro Morata, but the deal may have hit a hitch after Real Madrid indicated their wish to insert a buyback clause into the 21-year-old's contract if he moves away from the Spanish capital.
Matt Law of the Telegraph provides the details:
Real are understood to be willing to negotiate on Morata, but the Spaniards ideally want a buy-back agreement on the highly-rated Spaniard. It is understood Real want the option of taking Morata back to the Bernabeu in the first two years of his contract at another club.
Should Arsenal pursue the signing of Alvaro Morata if Real Madrid insist on placing a buyback clause in his contract?
Such an agreement is unlikely to excite Wenger and Arsenal fans too much. Morata's development across the next couple of years is vital, and if the Gunners give him an opportunity to shine, it would be highly irritating to lose the forward when he is suddenly deemed worthy of a regular place in the Los Blancos side.
Real exercised this option when recently re-buying Dani Carvajal from Bayer Leverkusen, a player who left the Bernabeu looking for experience in 2012 and returned just one season later. At 22 years old, Carvajal is now expected to start in the right-back position during Spain's attempt to retain the World Cup.
The problem for Arsenal is if Morata hits form, he is likely to be forced back to La Liga. Wenger likes to invest in young players, but there's little point agreeing anything other than a loan deal if the shadow of Madrid is going to loom during Morata's first 24 months away.
He is unlikely to knock Olivier Giroud out of the Gunners' first team straight away, but he is more than capable of making a positive impact at the Emirates. By the time he reaches the level needed to lead Wenger's team, the mothership may come calling.
Wenger could just as easily land Samuel Eto'o on a free from Chelsea if he wishes to have a temporary forward at the club, per John Cross of the Mirror. This way, neither party kids themselves and fans won't get attached to an individual who promises great things across the next decade.
Arsenal also "fear they will be priced out of a new move for Angel Di Maria," reported by Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star. The Argentinian may be difficult to lure away from Spain after a spate of excellent form throughout the season, culminating with a terrific run to set up Gareth Bale's winner in the recent Champions League final.
Tancredi Palmeri of beINsports suggests Arsenal don't have the means to land Di Maria's services:
Elsewhere, AS reports a second Arsenal bid for Atletico Madrid's Juanfran has been rebuffed, translated by 101 Great Goals. Such news all but confirms Bacary Sagna's exit on a free, an idea the Gunners faithful will have gotten used to across the last few weeks.
Wenger is obviously keen on strengthening with an influx of La Liga talent, and is looking to improve the right areas, but he needs to ensure any deals are made on his terms.
Will Morata offer enough across the next two years to make a temporary purchase worthwhile, or is the money better spent on a player who will contribute beyond the 2015-16 campaign? The problem is, if Real insert a buyback clause and don't exercise it, Morata's form is likely to have stalled.
As such, it's a lose-lose situation for Arsenal, who cannot rightfully expect the youngster to fire them toward glory just yet. While Morata's potential remains great, it would be heartbreaking for the Emirates crowd to nurture his quality before helplessly watching him whisked back to Real's squad of Galacticos.