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The Gunners and the Reds are both still interested in keeping Wilfried Bony in the English Premier League and Roma were keen to take him out to Italy, but all of them were informed they need to up-the-ante if they want the South Wales team to seriously consider their offers.
Roma duck out early
Roma are looking for players to help them close the gap on Turin-based Juventus, at the summit of Serie A, where they finished 2nd last season, but were a huge 17 points short of the runaway Champions. However, Roma have dropped out of the race already, unwilling to stump up even as much as Liverpool’s initially planned offer of £18 million, leaving it to the Premier League big-boys to fight out.
Swansea are pricing the 16-goal frontman at £25 million, more than double the £12 million they shelled out last summer to sign him from Dutch side Vitesse. Bony had a phenomenal goal-scoring record for the Eredivisie team, 46 goals in 65 games, and helped them to a 4th-place finish in his final season in Holland.
Pricing the Ivory Coast international so highly appears in part to be an attempt to tell the big-guns to lay off, as Bony is a very important part of their line-up and the kind of player they need to keep on the books if they wish to continue to assert themselves on the Premier League. It also would allow them to replace the center-forward, perhaps even with 2 players, should they find their price met.
Liverpool may very well back off after the Swans’ latest valuation, as they are not exactly lacking in fire-power, with Suarez and Sturridge netting 55 between them last season and another 24 between Gerrard and Sterling. With Champions League football on the calendar, Liverpool will be looking for further depth to their squad but if they are spending the big bucks they may prefer to look for a player with more experience in big competitions and against more of Europe’s strongest sides.
The Gunners, however, are known to be in the market for some support up-front and, even at £25 million, Bony will be considerably less than it would take to land Benzema from Real Madrid, which could possibly leave them open to also secure Loic Remy from QPR. This would leave the London club with a wealth of attacking options, especially in the wake of the news that Lukas Podolski intends to stay at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger is looking to improve on his last 2 adventures in the UEFA Champions League which have both ended in the first knock-out phase, both times to a German club and also, coincidentally, both following a group stage where they were runners up to a German side.
Swansea were very shrewd in their scouting and purchase of Bony, a player who was very prolific at his former club and playing at a high enough level for them to feel confident he could cut it in the Premier League but not high enough for his price to be out of the Welsh team’s comfort zone. On the back of a season where he was leading goal-scorer in the Dutch top-flight, at 24 years of age, Bony was keen to join the Premier League and give himself the best possible chance to showcase his talents and desire to feature for his country at the World Cup finals.
Where do you think Bony will end up next season? Will the Champions League lure be enough for him to forsake his place at the forefront of Swansea fan’s hearts or will he opt to remain there and know he will play week-in, week-out? Will Liverpool or Arsenal agree to Swansea’s assessment of his worth? And as we have seen many times, another team may well be sniffing around and ready to pounce on the striker.