Transfer news: Arsenal appreciate Onana, details on Mbappe’s future & has Newcastle man rejected Man Utd?

PSG will be the first ones to know Kylian Mbappe’s decision
As always, we’re seeing a lot of different stories on Kylian Mbappe. He’s a fantastic player, and out of contract in the summer, so it’s normal to see speculation, which is now coming from a number of different media outlets and in different countries. Within a short space of time there have been claims about Mbappe rejecting an approach from Real Madrid, and then a report that he’s on the verge of agreeing a move to Real Madrid for the summer.

So, what’s really going on? First of all I think it’s important to respect the statement from the player’s camp, their message is very clear: Mbappe has not decided his future, has no agreement with anyone, and no official message or rumour in the media can influence the timing of the decision. Nothing has been decided, and the timing will be up to Mbappe

Obviously it’s important to say that this is a public statement, and behind the scenes many things are happening. Real Madrid are working on the Mbappe deal, and the player can sign a deal with a foreign club for next season. Still, it’s important to say that Mbappe himself has said to the French media that he has a pact with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to protect all parties in this story. This relates to the €70-80m loyalty bonus that he will not receive if he decides to sign for Real Madrid.

However, my understanding is also that part of the pact is that Mbappe will tell Nasser Al-Khelaifi before anyone else when he decides his future. Mbappe will inform the PSG president, whether it’s to go to Real Madrid or anywhere else, or sign a new deal. According to my information, Mbappe has not communicated anything to the club or the president so far, it can happen in the next days or weeks, but before saying he’s 100% staying or going, we have to wait for him to inform PSG.

Real Madrid will keep working on this behind the scenes, while Mbappe will continue conversations between his lawyers, his mother and all the people involved, to decide his future. Real Madrid obviously want Mbappe and will keep pushing, but he has a good relationship with PSG, and they will be the first ones to know.

Could Amadou Onana replace Thomas Partey at Arsenal?
I’m aware there have been some big claims being made about Arsenal intensifying negotiations to sign Amadou Onana from Everton. Of course this has some Gunners fans excited, but I’m afraid it’s not quite the information I have for the moment.

My understanding is that Onana has always been one of the players appreciated by Arsenal but I don’t have more concrete updates than that just yet. Let’s see in the next days what happen, but for Arsenal it remains time to discuss internally before making concrete bids.

We know Arsenal have issues in midfield because Thomas Partey has barely played this season due to injury. Onana is a fine talent who could offer something similar in midfield, but it’s still early to know what will happen with Onana, and also with Partey.

If you remember in the summer, Partey was already considered as candidate for sale until end of June, but then Mikel Arteta decided to keep him; so anything can happen there in the summer. For now it’s very quiet, as he’s injured now so there are no concrete updates so far

It’s also been claimed that Arsenal, as well as Newcastle, were interested in Marcos Leonardo before his move to Benfica. I’m told, however, that it was never concrete with those clubs. Many clubs sent scouts to follow Marcos but he was only close to joining Roma last summer – that was the only official concrete bid on the table. Credit to Benfica because they closed the deal this January by moving fast – it was done in 24 hours by travelling to Brazil, it was a really quick and smart piece of business

Jonathan David – It’s gone a little quiet on the Lille striker recently, as it now looks likely that he will stay and probably leave in the summer. Interest is always there but he’s still an expensive striker, so it’s not easy to invest big money on him in January; it’s more kind of deal for summer. I’d never say never for January as the window is open, things can change… but there is nothing advanced so far.

Oscar Zambrano – There have been some rumours about Manchester United being interested in Oscar Zambrano, who has been described as the ‘next Moises Caicedo’. My information is that Bournemouth offered $5.5m to LDU Quito to sign Zambrano and negotiations continue. There are also other clubs but I’m not aware of more official bids so far. Bournemouth are really pushing, but the race is still open now. We will see.

Dan Ashworth – Despite reports that Dan Ashworth has rejected Manchester United to stay at Newcastle, I don’t have this information now. INEOS really appreciate Ashworth, while Newcastle insist he’s happy there and only focused on their project. I think it’s still early, we have to see what happens in the next months, the story is still open.

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