AC Milan

Chelsea & Arsenal join Juventus in race for AC Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu

Tom Gott
Apr 6, 2021, 9:35 AM GMT+1
Hakan Calhanoglu is a wanted man
Hakan Calhanoglu is a wanted man | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Chelsea and Arsenal have both offered contracts to AC Milan playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu, whose deal at San Siro is set to expire at the end of the season. But Juventus lead the chase for the Turkey international.

Milan have been pushing to tie the 27-year-old down to fresh terms for months, but talks have hit a complete stalemate recently and both parties are now considering their options.

According to Sky Italia, Calhanoglu is seeking a contract worth just over £4m per season (not including bonuses) but Milan have only offered £3.4m and are not prepared to go any higher. He is willing to come down slightly, but not to the level of Milan's offer.

With things now at a stand-still, Calhanoglu's representatives are understood to have received offers from Chelsea and Arsenal, both of whom are keen to lure him over to the Premier League on a free transfer.

However, there is also significant interest from Juventus, who are considering outbidding the two English sides for Calhanoglu's signature.

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta appears to be keen on Calhanoglu | Pool/Getty Images

It's not exactly clear whether Juventus have lodged a formal offer or not, but they are said to be leading the race for Calhanoglu's signature because of their willingness to meet the midfielder's wage demands.

Calhanoglu has managed seven goals and 11 assists in all competitions for Stefano Pioli's side this season. He is the team's creator-in-chief, and it appears as though sides across Europe have been taking notice of his eye for a pass.

Chelsea have found themselves particularly desperate for someone to make something happen in the final third. Hakim Ziyech is their only real creative midfielder, and the Moroccan hasn't exactly got going in England just yet.

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel has a lot of midfielders on his books already | Pool/Getty Images

A problem with the links to Chelsea is the Blues' huge number of attacking midfielders on the books already. With Thomas Tuchel playing two number tens, he has to split minutes between Ziyech, Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic, so adding another to the mix doesn't make too much sense.

You could make the same argument for Arsenal, who already have Emile Smith Rowe and loanee Martin Odegaard on the books. The Gunners are keen to make Odegaard's loan permanent this summer, but given the cost of such a deal, Calhanoglu on a free transfer could be a smart alternative.

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