Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Luciano Vietto and Morgan Schneiderlin Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2015

Villareal's Luciano Vietto celebrates after scoring during the Europa League Round 32 soccer match between FC Salzburg and Villareal FC in the Arena in Salzburg, Austria, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)
Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press

Arsenal are set to face stern competition if they’re to land Villarreal forward Luciano Vietto, with reports claiming both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are in the race for the Argentinian striker.

That’s according fichajes.net (h/t Jonathan Green of the Daily Star), which also noted Liverpool’s interest in the 21-year-old sensation. Green suggests the Madrid giants have “stolen a march in the race” to sign the striker, who has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season for the Yellow Submarine, per WhoScored.com.

Here’s a look at why there is so much interest in the player:

Marcelino’s team have shocked many this season. They’ve played with an effervescence to complement their cohesion and, while the scarcity of big names seems to fester a sense of togetherness in the group, in Vietto they do have a player that can provide a little bit of stardust in the opposition third of the pitch.

The player is acutely aware of the speculation that's emerged. Indeed, he’s already admitted it would be “a dream” to play at Barcelona alongside Lionel Messi, per Mark Doyle of Goal.com, and the striker also hinted he would like to play under compatriot and current Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, per Marca.

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 14: Head coach Diego Pablo Simeone (R) of Atletico de Madrid embraces Luciano Dario Vietto (L) of Villarreal CF prior to start the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Villarreal CF at Vicente Calderon Stadium on Dece
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

From an Arsenal perspective, perennial rumours linking the Gunners with a move for Paulo Dybala, per James Orr of The Independent, would suggest Arsene Wenger is in the market for a skilful forward in the window, but the Palermo man's reported cost would far outstrip Vietto's.

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Indeed, Spanish football expert Sergi Dominguez thinks the Villarreal star represents value for money when compared to some players:

Sergi Domínguez @FutbolSergi

Imagine planning to sign Morata for €45m when you can go for Vietto for just €20m.

For the aforementioned fee, signing the former Racing Club man would be a coup. But for the player’s own development, after making a big step in his career last summer, perhaps a La Liga club would be the best option if he was to move. As such, it’d be a massive surprise to see him at the Emirates next season, especially with Atletico, Real and Barcelona all apparently in the frame.

Gunners Legend Urges Raphael Varane, Morgan Schneiderlin Pursuit

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 26:  Raphael Varane #4 of France celebrates with team mates after scoring the first goal of the game during the International Friendly match between France and Brazil at the Stade de France on March 26, 2015 in Paris, France.  (Photo
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Former Arsenal star Charlie Nicholas wants the club to be ambitious in their summer transfer plans and has encouraged Wenger to strengthen his defensive reinforcements with the capture of two of European football’s up-and-coming stars.

First on the agenda was Real Madrid’s young defender Raphael Varane, who Nicholas thinks the Gunners could potentially prise away from the Santiago Bernabeu, per Sky Sports:

Ideally, if the situation arose, I’d like to go and get Raphael Varane from Real Madrid. That’s who I’d really love Arsenal to get.

He’s had a bit of a hard time this season but I think if he was to work with Arsene Wenger he could become one of the best centre-halves in world football - if not the best.

If Wenger is going to splash the clash for just one top-level guy this summer, Varane would be my wish.

The young Frenchman is third in the Los Blancos centre-back pecking order behind Sergio Ramos and Pepe at the moment, but there’s little denying he has all the requisite ability to go to the very top.

But a lack of action has prompted rumours regarding a move away from the European champions, with Manchester United and Chelsea apparently keen, per Marc Williams of the Daily Star.

Ramos and Pepe are currently ahead of Varane in the Arsenal pecking order.
Ramos and Pepe are currently ahead of Varane in the Arsenal pecking order.David Ramos/Getty Images

As we can see here courtesy of OptaJean, while not a regular with Los Blancos, Varane has thoroughly established himself on the international scene:

OptaJean @OptaJean

8 - Raphael Varane ist the only player to have started all the eight games for France since the 2014 WC. Captain.

The second player touted by Nicholas is Morgan Schneiderlin, who he thinks could provide ample protection to the back four:

People have mentioned Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko to fill the deep role in midfield, but I don’t think he has enough discipline.

Schneiderlin plays with a far more disciplined, controlled velocity, and I think he fits more into the pattern of Arsenal’s play. I’m not saying Francis Coquelin should be dropped immediately if Schneiderlin came in, he’d have to earn his place, but you could even play the two in the same team. That could work in Europe and certain away games in the Premier League.

Schneiderlin is nearly 6ft, he gets about the pitch well, he passes well – he’s got all the ingredients.

Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press

Bringing in two players of this immense defensive quality would certainly thrust Arsenal into contention for major honours next season. Bleacher Report’s Gunners correspondent James McNicholas took a look other refinements the club need to make to challenge for the Premier League title:

At the moment, Schneiderlin is the more realistic and sensible option for the Gunners. Southampton have had a marvellous season, but they will not be able to match the player’s long-term ambitions; looking at Arsenal’s squad, the Frenchman is exactly the type of player the club needs to fill the void at the base of the midfield too.

Varane may not have featured as much as he’d like at Madrid as of late, but such is his talent, it’s surely only a matter of time before Los Blancos expedite a changing of the guard in this facet of their first team. As such, luring the young defender away from the Bernabeu would potentially be an impossible task for the Emirates outfit.


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