One of Arsenal’s summer top targets Simon Mignolet has thrown the door open for a move to the Emirates after he snubbed Sunderland’s new contract offer. The Belgian speaking through his agent revealed his desire to make the leap to a bigger club.
“There is no progress,” Mignolet’s agent Nico Vaesen told regional newspaper the Sunderland Echo. “I think it is very unlikely that he will sign a new contract. Simon has obviously come to a point where he wants to step up a level and there is a lot of interest in him. He is very ambitious and wants to play in the World Cup in Brazil next year.
“It was a good thing that Sunderland stayed up and it is a fantastic club where he has had three great years. But it is maybe time to step up a level and play for a club competing for a European spot.”
From the words of the Belgian star’s agent, it is obvious he wants out of the Stadium of Light and the best way to pass across the message is by rejecting a new contract. He has just 2 years left on his current deal and should Sunderland refuse selling him this summer, they will have to sell him for a reduced fee next summer or risk loosing him for free when his contract expires in 2 years and then, he would be more experienced. For a club with great financial strength, they could risk it but a club of Sunderland’s standing cannot afford that luxury. A decent transfer fee for him this summer will go a long way in helping to improve their squad.
Where is his desired destination? The agent has given the clearest indication. ‘it is maybe time to step up a level and play for a club competing for an European spot.” This means he is looking for a team in the top 6 of the Premier League and amongst those teams, only Arsenal and Liverpool are in need of shotstoppers. While
Arsenal are always making top 4 in the least (UEFA Champions League), Liverpool are even struggling to make the top 6 these days (Europa League).
With 2014 close by and Belgium almost there, Mignolet will want to make the mundial as the Belgian number 1 but he faces stiff competition from Chelsea’s goalkeeper who is on loan at Athletico Madrid, Courtois. Should courtois stay back at Athletico, he will be playing Champions League football next season and for Mignolet to stand a decent chance of beating him to the number 1 spot, he will also have to play at the highest level. That rules out Liverpool, the Reds didn’t even make Europa League.
Though Mignolet wants a move to a bigger club, he won’t burn bridges with the club to achieve it.
“All teams that are interested in Simon, we direct them to Sunderland,” continued Vaesen. He still has a two-year contract there and any interested clubs have to agree a price with Sunderland first. That is the way we conduct our business.”
Hence, Mignolet has done his part to show he is interested in been a Gunner, the onus lies on Arsenal to do theirs, put their money where their mouth is and make an offer for Mignolet, one Sunderland won’t be able to refuse.
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