Sagna replacement would come at a €6m loss to Arsenal

Arsenal could have signed Sime Vrsaljko in July for €4 million - but will have to pay €10 million for him in January.

This week has seen Arsenal linked with Genoa defender Sime Vrsaljko - with some reports even claiming it as an exclusive.

Now this is of course both true and untrue - as signing him from Genoa might be brand new, but signing the player in general is certainly old news.

This time last year Arsenal were first linked with a move for the Croatian, whilst he was playing at Dinamo Zagreb.

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The likes of Manchester City were also after him - but in the end the Croatian international moved to Genoa in July for a fee believed to be in the region of £3.5 (€4) million.

As other, perhaps more illustrious teams, pondered on a potential deal, Genoa swooped in and got their man. But he has only gone on to impress those interested before even more - and he is now seemingly the main target for Arsenal to replace Bacary Sagna, who looks set to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season.

But all this report highlights is that Arsenal are going to waste a fair bit of money if this deal goes through.

First of all, if they knew Sagna was going to leave, they could have cashed in on the player in the summer - but then again he has been in great form this term, so perhaps that is a non-point.

But they certainly should have moved for Vrsaljko, either in January or in the summer.

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Instead Genoa got him on a bargain price, and he is now reportedly valued at more than double what they paid for him - at a fee of £7.5 (€10) million.

So they are going to be paying £4 million more than what they would have had, if they had been more decisive in their interest this summer.

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Of course, that is not much money in this modern age - and Arsenal certainly have the cash in place to afford such a deal.

But every little helps, and for somebody as frugal as Monsieur Wenger - this is going to be a slightly irritating deal to conclude.

Although, if it does go through, there is no doubt that Arsenal would have an excellent protégé on their hands.

image: © jasonparis

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