Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has as good as confirmed the signing of Mohamed Elneny from Basel, after previously admitting to some paperwork issues with the deal – and said that he hopes the player will be ready to join the matchday squad to face Stoke City on Sunday.
The club are expected to formally announce the completion of their move for the Egyptian midfielder before the weekend, bringing the 23-year-old to North London on a four-and-a-half -year contract.
Sky Sports report that, speaking after the Gunners’ thrilling 3-3 draw at Anfield on Wednesday night, Wenger told the press: “He [Elneny] has joined us and we will see if he can qualify for Sunday.”
The club’s new acquisition, thought to have cost something in the region of £5m, should fill the holding midfield role which has caused Wenger trouble of late, with injuries to the likes of Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla meaning that Mathieu Flamini has been forced into a regular first-team role.
Earlier in the week, Wenger had said: “I expect Mohamed yes, we are positive that this week it can happen. The situation should be sorted out. There are a lot of work permit problems and special paperwork to do, (the) visa, so we hope we can finalise it this week. As long as it is not definitely signed, you have to be cautious, but I am optimistic about the case.”
The Gunners’ draw with Liverpool on Wednesday night saw didn’t see them lose any ground to Manchester City or Spurs behind them thanks to Everton holding City to a 0-0 draw, but they now lie equal on points with Leicester after the Foxes beat their North London rivals at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.
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