Monday, 15 December 2008

Gallas Out? Chiellini In? As Wenger Rings The Changes At Arsenal


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is set to let defender William Gallas leave the Emirates Stadium for Serie A giants Juventus, but wants Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini to come in the opposite direction as part of the deal to reunite Gallas with former boss Claudio Ranieri, according to the Sunday Mirror.

31-year-old Gallas has been heavily linked with a move away from the Gunners when the transfer window reopens next month. With La Vecchia Signora coach Ranieri favourite to land the player he brought to the Premier League in 2001, while in charge at Chelsea.

Gallas, who was stripped of the captaincy at the North London club after criticising his team mates in the media is believed to be available at around £5million, but Wenger is understood to only be willing to let the former Chelsea player leave if a suitable replacement can be found.

Arsenal have been linked with AS Roma defender Philippe Mexes recently, with 24-year-old Italian International Chiellini now on the radar of the Frenchman to shore up, what has been a shaky defence at the Premiership club this season.

However, it is unlikely that Ranieri would be willing let Chiellini leave for England as the Italian wants Gallas to form a partnership in the heart of the Bianconeri defence with Chiellini. In addition to this Chiellini is valued at as much as three times that of Gallas and is believed to be happy at the Turin side. So despite Wenger being assured that there will be transfer funds available next month after a meeting with new chief executive Ivan Gazidis. It remains to be seen if Wenger would be prepared to spend the extra £10million to replace Gallas, with a like-for-like replacement.

Chiellini has been at Juve since 2005 after joining from Fiorentina in 2005 and has made 93 appearances for Juventus since his transfer from from the Viola. The central defender made his senior debut for Italy in 2004 and has been capped 16 times by the Italians.

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