Arsenal and Chelsea are set to go head-to-head in a bid to sign AC Milan playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu. According to a report by Sky Italia, talks between the Rossoneri and Calhanoglu have broken down and are currently in a state of impasse.
The report states that the Turkey international is demanding a contract worth €5m a year without bonuses. However, the club are said to be offering €4m and it remains to be seen whether a deal can be agreed upon.
The 27-year-old will be out of contract at the San Siro in June, which means he will be free to talk with other clubs and AC Milan could lose him for free in the summer.
Several clubs across Europe are keenly monitoring the player's situation, with Juventus are said to be interested in making a move for the player. However, Arsenal and Chelsea have reportedly gone further by making initial contact with Calhanoglu's representatives.
Considering the absence of a transfer fee, it might not be difficult for Arsenal and Chelsea to match the player's wage demands. However, there are suggestions that their offers might be lower than the package proposed by the Bianconeri.
Do Arsenal and Chelsea need Hakan Calhanoglu?
Hakan Calhanoglu has made a name for himself as one of the most creative forces in Serie A over the last few years. So far, he has scored 30 goals and provided 47 assists from 163 games in all competitions for AC Milan and has also proven to be adept at taking free-kicks.
Arsenal have been in need of a creative player ever since the Mesut Ozil debacle. The arrival of Martin Odegaard in January appears to have solved this problem. However, the Norway international is currently on loan from Real Madrid, and if the Gunners are unable to secure a permanent transfer for the player, a move for Calhanolgu could be on the cards.
For Chelsea, it is a little less straightforward, as they only recently broke their club record to sign Kai Havertz. The German international has failed to make a mark since arriving at Stamford Bridge. Apart from Havertz, Chelsea also have other creative outlets like Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount, so a move for another playmaker might not make sense at the moment.
It remains to be seen whether the London clubs will follow up on their interest. AC Milan would undeniably be losing one of their most important players if they fail to renew the player's contract.