The potential stumbling block in Arsenal’s transfer move for Jonathan Tah

Arsenal transfer target Jonathan Tah during Bayer Leverkusen's Europa League clash with Porto
Jonathan Tah is firmly on Arsenal’s radar (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal are seriously weighing up a move for Jonathan Tah this summer but the coronavirus crisis could make the defender’s release clause ‘worthless’, according to reports in Germany.

Mikel Arteta is desperate to bolster his options at centre-back and has identified two Bundesliga stars as his top targets ahead of the 2020/21 campaign: Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, 21, and Bayer Leverkusen’s Tah, 24.

Upamecano is available for a fee of £52.5million, while the Gunners view Tah as a cheaper alternative to the young Frenchman.

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PORTO, PORTUGAL - FEBRUARY 27: Jonathan Tah of Bayer 04 Leverkusen looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between FC Porto and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Estadio do Dragao on February 27, 2020 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
The Germany defender has a £35m release clause in his contract at Leverkusen (Picture: Getty)

According to SportBild, Arsenal’s interest in Tah is genuine and the north London club are ‘very’ keen on signing the Germany international after keeping close tabs on his accomplished performances this term.

However, there are serious concerns over his €40million (£35m) release clause at Leverkusen.

The clause expires on May 31 meaning Arsenal will have to move quickly if they are to have any hope of landing Tah. But the report claims it could be ‘worthless’ given the devastating COVID-19 pandemic and its ramifications.

Arsenal may be tempted to put their move for Tah on hold given his release clause becomes applicable again next year.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on March 07, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images )
Arteta is determined to strengthen his options in central defence (Picture: Getty)

Last week, Arsenal head coach Arteta reassured fans that he had multiple transfer plans in place after the coronavirus pandemic halted the Premier League season.

The Spaniard told Sky Sports: ‘I’m planning two or three different scenarios that we can face.

‘Depending on one of those three, we will be able to do more, less or nothing.

‘We have to react daily. We don’t know what the financial situation is going to be, we don’t know the rules, the timing, the window.

‘There are so many things we cannot control at the moment.’

Arteta added: ‘I went through a lot when I got here… I had eight or 10 players injured, and there were a lot of issues to deal with. The connection between fans, players and club was in a difficult state at that moment.

‘We had to change that energy, the belief and the commitment from the players.

‘I was very pleased because everyone was on board with what we were doing.

‘We started to win three or four games in a row and there was a much more positive mindset around the place.’

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