Arsenal told wonderkid target is 'untouchable' but Saka 2.0 is fair game

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 27 Feb 2024 10:55 GMT
  • 4 min read
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal

Arsenal have been told that Juventus consider Kenan Yildiz 'untouchable,' but that they would be open to selling a different wonderkid.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for Turkish starlet Kenan Yildiz over the past week. Sporting director Edu has a long-standing interest in the 18-year-old and Italian media claimed in recent days that Arsenal had even launched an early bid to beat the competition from Liverpool and Man Utd to his signature.

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Their €40 million offer was deemed 'insulting' by Juventus and swiftly rejected, with Arsenal learning that they must put at least €60m on the table for a player who is regarded as one of Europe's biggest attacking prospects. However, a fresh report out of Italy now claims that the Bianconeri really have no intention of selling Yildiz.

Journalist Gianluca Oddenino has revealed that Juventus consider the 18-year-old 'untouchable.' “Yildiz is the talent that is most convincing and on which Juventus have decided to bet strongly, even at the cost of sacrificing [Matias] Soulé, who is a player that has a market thanks to the space he found at Frosinone, but there are already several English clubs that have knocked offering a few tens of millions."

“Juventus know that they will have to make some sacrifices in the market, which could be [Federico] Chiesa or Soulé himself, maybe Bremer, for whom important offers could arrive. However, he is more likely to be among the untouchables given what he is doing this season. The strong untouchable, however, is now only Yildiz.”

Kenan Yildiz
© IMAGO - Kenan Yildiz

Arsenal's Soule opportunity

Oddenino's comments are interesting even if they have dashed Arsenal's hopes of landing Yildiz. The journalist's assertion that Matias Soule will be available echoes reports that have been coming out of Italy for several weeks.

The Argentine has impressed on loan at Frosinone this term and has piqued the interest of several Premier League sides. Juventus want to make a splash in the summer and spend big on a new midfielder, potentially Atalanta's Teun Koopmeiners, to replace Paul Pogba. To muster the resources for such a transfer, Soule will likely be sold.

This presents an interesting opportunity for Arsenal. Soule is a left-footed right-winger who loves to cut inside, dribble and have a run at goal, reminiscent of Bukayo Saka, who has been forced to become something of an ironman for the Gunners due to their lack of depth on that side.

Soule could be a brilliant understudy to the 22-year-old and would presumably be a lot cheaper than Arsenal's top target Pedro Neto, for whom Wolves will be demanding a club-record fee in the upcoming transfer window.

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