Transfer Rumour: Manchester United and Arsenal chasing Porto winger Yacine Brahimi
- Brahimi has a contract with the Portuguese club till 2019.
Manchester United and Arsenal seem likely to be embroiled in yet another transfer battle, as they are both reportedly interested in Porto’s Yacine Brahimi. The 26-year-old left winger has been impressing in Portugal and drew interest from the likes of Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea in the summer. Brahimi joined Porto in 2014 and has been a mainstay of the team since then.
Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Manchester City are also said to be among a multitude of clubs keeping an eye on the Algerian. It will not be easy to get him on the cheap, however, as Brahimi has a deal keeping him at Porto till 2019, and is reported to have a £50.5m release clause. Porto reportedly turned down a deadline day bid of £34m made by Everton in August.
The Portuguese club do not hold the full rights to the player, with 80% of the rights belonging to Doyen Sports, a sports investment company.
Brahimi, who has 16 goals in 68 appearances for Porto, is known to be a skilled dribbler who idolises and tries to emulate Zinedine Zidane. Brahimi started his career at his local club ASB Montreuil, before being selected for the renowned French football academy, Clairefontaine.
He made it through the ranks at Clairefontaine, even training at the youth camps of PSG, before signing a youth contract at Rennes. He then enjoyed loan spells at Clermont and Granada, before eventually signing a permanent deal with the Spanish team. Porto eventually snapped him up, after he won the African Player of the Year Award for 2013-14.
The skilled technician plays mostly as a left winger, but can also slot in as a central attacking midfielder. Manchester United seem to be interested in bolstering their depth on the wings, with Mourinho also showing interest in the Swiss winger Breel Embolo.
He would also seamlessly slot in at Arsenal, with Alexis Sanchez making the move to the centre-forward position, leaving the left wing slot up for grabs. While the position is currently rotated between Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alex Iwobi, the Nigerian is still young, while the former Southampton man is inconsistent.
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Arsenal are also in a contract dilemma with their two biggest stars in Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, who reportedly have wage demands that would require Arsenal to break their current wage structure. The German and Chilean internationals want their wages to be on par with the likes of Paul Pogba, at £300k a week, but it remains to be seen whether Wenger will bend his rules to meet those demands.