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Nagging favour required before Arsenal can complete in-Prem January switch

Sead Kolasinac is on board with a January move to a Premier League rival, but any move requires a huge helping hand from Arsenal, per a report.

The Bosnia international, 28, has featured just four times for Arsenal this season. Kolasinac had been expected to make his temporary stay with Schalke permanent over the summer. However, the club’s relegation from the Bundesliga laid waste to those hopes.

As such, Kolasinac returned to the Emirates, but has found minutes on the pitch in desperately short supply.

Indeed, the arrivals of Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu have bolstered Arteta’s defensive ranks. Nuno Tavares has also impressed, ensuring Kolasinac is now third choice at left-back behind Kieran Tierney and the Portuguese youngster.

As such, a report from the Telegraph recently revealed Claudio Ranieri was mulling a January deal for Kolasinac.

The Hornets’ defensive woes have been there for all to see this season. If Ranieri cannot plug their leaky defence with a new addition, Watford’s return to the top flight could be a brief one.

Kolasinac can operate at centre-back or on the left side. That versatility could appeal to Ranieri, though any move will require a big favour from Arsenal.

That’s according to the Evening Standard, who confirm Watford are ‘interested’ in Kolasinac.

A loan deal is in their thinking, though Kolasinac’s reported £100,000-a-week salary is a major sticking point.

Wages a worry, but Kolasinac open to exit

The article states Watford would require Arsenal to subsidise those wages. That may deter Arsenal from sanctioning a deal given Kolasinac is in the final year of his contract.

With new terms seemingly unlikely at this stage, Arsenal may be reluctant to subsidise the wages of a player whose future will lay away from the Emirates in six months anyway.

From the player’s end, Kolasinac is deemed ‘open’ to the idea of joining Watford on loan. The offer of more regular minutes in the Premier League understandably appeals, even if he would be signing up for a relegation scrap.

The article acknowledges that any deal is in the early stages at present.

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Barcelona offer Arsenal £247m pair

Meanwhile, Barcelona have contacted Arsenal to offer them a pair of their costliest-ever stars in an effort to secure a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang swap deal, according to a report.

Reports on Thursday claimed the Gunners, despite the best wishes of Mikel Arteta, have placed Aubameyang on the transfer list.

Now, according to the Daily Mirror, Barca are the first side to make their move. And they appear ready to get creative to in order to secure his signature by offering Arsenal their pick of two players.

As per the report, Barca are offering Arteta one of two players in exchange in the form of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.

Coutinho has been a major disappointment since signing for the Catalans in a deal worth up to £142m. And with the January window approaching, a parting of ways once again looks possible. To that end, reports on Thursday suggested Coutinho is ‘seduced’ by a potential move to Tottenham.

Ousmane Dembele is reportedly the other player on offer at Barcelona. Having cost £105m six months earlier, he too has struggled to find his best form since moving to the Nou Camp.

READ MORE: Liverpool, Arsenal blown away as target’s ‘most significant’ suitor hatches tempting plan

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