AC Milan vice-president and CEO Adriano Galliani has warned Arsenal that they will have to pay an inflated transfer fee if they are to sign AS Monaco defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia this summer.
Four-time senior France international Kondogbia, 22, caught the eye with a selection of fine performances for Monaco last season, including two solid displays against Arsenal in the Champions League. He even scored a goal at the Emirates Stadium.
Consequently perhaps, the Gunners are now keen to recruit the 6ft 2in powerhouse, according to The Express, who claim that AC and Inter Milan have also shown an interest this summer.
The Express report that Monaco will demand at least £25m for Kondogbia and that Inter are happy to pay such a fee.
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AC chief Galliani is concerned that the fierce competition for Kondogbia’s signature has led to his price tag rising too high for the player to be a good value addition.
The Express quote Galliani, via Gazzetta dello Sport, as saying: “Whoever wins will be bled dry.
“The competition has caused the price-tag and the player’s own demands to explode.
“It is going to be at least €35m (£25m), but you can imagine it now going beyond €40m (£28.6m), and Kondogbia is now asking for several million euros to be convinced.”
Kondogbia would no doubt be a good player for Arsenal. The Gunners are very short of fit and strong defensive midfielders – Francis Coquelin, who was one of Arsenal’s top-performers in the second half of last season, is the only one currently available to Arsene Wenger.
The question is, is Kondogbia worth £25m? That is the same figure that Manchester United paid PSV Eindhoven for 21-year-old Netherlands winger Memphis Depay earlier this month, according to The Mirror. Depay scored 22 goals in 30 games in the Dutch league last season.
A fee of £25m could also be enough to sign Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin, according to the London Evening Standard.
While Schneiderlin may not be able to match Kondogbia in terms of power, the Saints midfielder is a proven Premier League star and, with a game based predominantly on passing, he would arguably suit Arsenal’s existing style of play more than his compatriot.
Schneiderlin is slightly older than Kondogbia, at 25. He has been capped nine times by France.