Bengaluru, April 17: Arsenal are reportedly considering triggering a buy-back clause in the contract of former academy star Ismael Bennacer who is currently having an impressive season in Serie A with Empoli.
The midfielder spent just two years in the Gunners' academy between 2015 and 2017 but made only one senior appearance before being sold to the Serie A side for €1 million where he has since gone on to star.
The Algerian's Arsenal career was filled with early promise but he could not utilise it in England however the 21-year-old's performance over this season has reportedly caught the eye of some of Europe's top sides and apparently Arsenal and Napoli are some of them.
Former Arsenal academy midfielder Ismael Bennacer continues to be really impressive in Serie A. Reports say Napoli want a €12m transfer.Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) April 4, 2019
The Gunners have a purchase clause allowing them to match any Empoli sale, plus a 30% sell-on clause if they decide not to buy him back. https://t.co/W1Z55nRPmI
French outlet Le10 Sport has suggested the Gunners have the option of a buy-back clause, but they face a battle on their hands with Napoli's interest understood to be firm.
Napoli are willing to provide two players along with a transfer fee but could face competition if Arsenal want to trigger the buyback clause, though the exact value is still unknown. A matching clause could allow Arsenal to match any bid Empoli accept for him but another clause, reportedly a sell-on clause could also give the Gunners 30% of the profits if they decide not to buy him back.
Ismaël Bennacer (21, DM) for Empoli this season:Football Scouts (@FootbaII_Scouts) April 14, 2019
30 Games Played
87% Pass Accuracy
3 Big Chances Created
81% Dribbles Completed
6.5 Duels Won (per game)
1.3 Interceptions (per game)
1.5 Tackles Won (per game)
0 Errors led to goal
0 Errors led to shot
Bennacer has made 30 league appearances in his first top-division season and caught the eye with exceptional passing and dribbling, whilst also proving very solid defensively. He's yet to make a single error leading to a goal this season, or even leading to a shot and Emery reportedly has been impressed with the profile who looks to make a couple of additions in Summer.
If Arsenal are to make a move for their former player, then it will be in back-to-back seasons that the club have looked into the Italian league for midfield addition after signing Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria last summer.
Empoli president Fabrizio Corsi recently has admitted he is willing to sell him this summer but it still remains to be seen where the midfielder's future lies.