Latest Rumours : Arda Turan Can Leave Barcelona in January 2018.
Barcelona have reportedly told Arsenal target Arda Turan he can join a new club during the January transfer window. Turan is even said to favour a move to the Premier League, despite interest from China.
The Gunners continue to be linked with the playmaker after Turkey national team manager Mircea Lucescu recently revealed the north London club bid for the 30-year-old in the summer.
Arsenal's case to sign Turan now appears stronger, should the north Londoners wish to revisit the idea. Barca have told the Turkey international he can move on in January, according to Lluis Miguelsanz of Spanish newspaper Sport (h/t Emre Sarigul of Turkish-Football.com).
"Turan, Aleix Vidal and [Thomas] Vermaelen have been told they can leave over the winter transfer window. Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde reportedly wants his squad to be lighter," Sarigul said, citing the Sportreport.
Sarigul added: "A source close to Arda Turan revealed to Turkish-Football that Turan is happy at Barcelona and that he would only consider the Premier League as an alternative destination."
Barca are ready to move on from Turan.Alex Caparros/Getty Images
Arsenal may be in pole position to make a move to England happen for Turan after reportedly showing interest in the former Atletico Madrid schemer in the summer.
Lucescu recently revealed to TRT Sport (h/t Metro) how Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde told him the Gunners had been close to a deal: "I spoke to Valverde, Arsenal made Arda an offer. Arda was on the verge of joining Arsenal this summer but it did not go through."
Turan represents a smart choice for Arsenal since the club may lose contract rebels Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez for free next summer.
Ozil has been linked with a move to domestic rivals Manchester United, with the 29-year-old advised to run down his deal before switching to Old Trafford next summer, per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News.
Meanwhile, Sanchez is still "desperate to quit the Gunners," according to Daniel Cutts of The Sun. Losing either one or both of Sanchez and Ozil would rob Arsenal of match-winning quality, namely goals and assists.
Arsenal may need replacements lined up for star players Ozil and Sanchez.Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
Those are things Turan could replace as the type of versatile attacking midfielder Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger usually builds his teams around. Turan can play on either flank or operate as a natural No. 10, thanks to his vision, technique and flair.
The same qualities are essential to making the free-flowing style of football the Gunners favour work. Yet Turan may be deemed too old to take a key role ahead of some of the young talent Wenger is developing.
Alex Iwobi is still only 21, while 17-year-old Reiss Nelson is emerging as a player of considerable potential this season. There is also the re-emergence of Jack Wilshere, with the 25-year-old showcasing the craft and skill Arsenal need between the midfield and forward lines.
Turan reportedly doesn't want to move to the Far East.Octavio Passos/Getty Images
Still, the idea of Arsenal signing Turan in January remains an intriguing one. The veteran has yet to appear for Barca so far this season, per WhoScored.com, so he could be eligible to play for the Gunners in the UEFA Europa League in the new year.
If Wenger wants some experience to prepare for and ease any post-Ozil-and-Sanchez transition, he is unlikely to find a creative player better than Turan available. The Gunners boss would be wise to try adding the winger in January to boost the quality of his squad for the pursuit of trophies, both domestically and in Europe.