Arsenal and Aston Villa are reportedly interested in Vitoria Guimares defender Ibrahima Bamba, who has a €30 million release clause.
According to O Jogo via Sport Witness, Arsenal and Aston Villa are vying for Ibrahima Bamba ahead of the summer window. The Vitoria Guimaraes star has remained linked away to the Premier League since January. The Portuguese club will only accept bids that match his valuations.
Valuations can differ in how someone looks at them. For instance, Ibrahima Bamba’s current market value as per Transfermarkt shows €5 million, but a €30 million release clause protects Vitoria Guimaraes. Hence, for the Portuguese side, a club must pay around that figure.
Previous reports stated the versatile star could become available for as little as 10-12 million. But Vitoria Guimaraes would want the full price for the €30 million-rated midfielder. The Italian-born Ivorian has impressed in the Portuguese league this season, with 28 appearances.
By trade, Bamba is a defensive midfielder, which attracted Arsenal’s attention in January. They did not move for the €30 million-rated midfielder, instead bringing in the experienced Jorginho from Chelsea. However, as the season progressed, Bamba has played in a centre-back role, and it may appear he has transformed into a defender.
Arsenal are still keen on the €30 million-rated defender, but they may face competition from Aston Villa in the summer. If Vitoria Guimaraes intends to receive €30 million for the player, it’s a good price for any top English side.
The Gunners are in the market for a new defender, with Edmond Tapsoba the latest player linked. The Bayer Leverkusen stars, alongside some other names, will cost Arsenal a lot of money. In that scenario, or if Mikel Arteta deems it worthy, Bamba might arrive.
The Gunners might make a serious approach if their interest has any value. For the season Bamba’s had, he remains primed to make a big move away from Portugal in the summer. While Arsenal prioritises other areas of their pitch, the manager also wants a new centre-back. The defender’s versatility will also prove attractive.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa are reportedly keen to add the defender to their squad. Unai Emery wants reinforcements after a terrific campaign, qualifying for the Conference League.
Bamba is a young, dynamic player that could develop well under the tutelage of Emery. While he may not come across as a sure starter, there’s loads of potential to develop and become a future star. Whether the club are willing to spend €30 million on such a player remains the question.
Villa are already keen on a formidable defensive star. Pau Torres is a key target for Emery as he eyes up on a reunion with the Villarreal defender. As for Bamba, they may come into a strong position if they can sell their project to the €30 million-rated defender.
For now, the market is yet to open, and once it does, a host of clubs could angle a move for Bamba. Vitoria Guimaraes will accept offers close to the release clause. Interested clubs will likely look to reduce that price tag.