The race for Roma’s coveted centre back, Philippe Mexes, seems to be hotting up, as after months of practically every top club in Europe being linked with the talented defender, three front-runners have finally emerged: AC Milan, Chelsea and Arsenal.
The 28-year-old will cost £12m, although a potential bidding war between the three European heavyweights could see his price increase dramatically. The Premiership duo in particular are keen to bolster their defensive options in January, so if Mexes’ agent is listening, here’s a closer look at his options:
Arsenal: Well, Arsene Wenger’s always on the lookout for a good French player, and Mexes would certainly be a high-profile signing and a valued member of the squad. A defensive partnership with Thomas Vermaelen also sounds promising, and Arsenal’s large French contingent would mean Mexes wouldn’t have too much trouble settling in.
However, of the three clubs chasing Mexes, Arsenal are the least likely to offer the defender a chance of silverware.
AC Milan: A move to the San Siro would be the easiest option for Mexes, as he’d have just a short trip to the north of Italy, and wouldn’t have to learn a new language. Milan would be the most attractive option for the defender if he didn’t want to leave Italy, and the club could certainly offer silverware.
Chelsea: Chelsea would be likely to offer Mexes the most lucrative contract, and would certainly offer a better chance of silverware than a move to the Emirates might. However, Mexes would not walk straight into the starting line-up at Stamford Bridge as he might at Milan or Arsenal.
So, where will Mexes be by February? If I were a betting man, I’d go for Chelsea, simply because I believe Mexes will want more of a change of scenery than Rome to Milan, and with Arsene Wenger still refusing to budge on his “no buys in January”, Carlo Ancelotti can feel confident of getting his man.
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