Last summer, Arsenal were linked with a shopping spree at the Bernabeu stadium, with Mesut Ozil tipped to be joined by Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema.
In the end, only the German international found his way to the Emirates Stadium, for a club-record fee. But reports linking Di Maria with a Real Madrid departure continue.
Now website Sport Mediaset claims Napoli are interested in the Argentine winger and are preparing to sell Marek Hamsik in order to raise the sufficient funds to move for Di Maria.
So should Arsenal act fast? There is no doubt the 26-year-old would improve Arsene Wenger’s current squad. But with a contract until 2018, and having featured 47 times to date for Real this season, it would take an almighty bid to secure his services.
Di Maria is something of an assist-king, with 22 so far this season to add to his 11 goals. But the latest report from Italy claims Napoli are seriously considering a move for the Argentine international, with a fee of €40million being touted.
“It would be a hard bargain, but not an impossible one,” the report claims, with Carlo Ancelotti said to not hold the player in the highest esteem.
And yet he continues to play him, which suggests he is at least doing something right.
With Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in the team, there is an argument to be had that Real would be just fine without Di Maria, but his figures this season show that is not the case. It would still be a huge shock if Di Maria leaves this summer, but if Napoli are adamant they will make a big and bold move, Arsenal may want to do likewise.
After all, it worked in the case of Ozil, and Di Maria could be one of the signings – along with a new striker – who turns Arsenal from also-rans to champions once again.