Mikel Arteta sees little margin for error if Arsenal are to become champions
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Arsenal have learned the price tag for January transfer target Moussa Diaby as the Bayer Leverkusen winger has been seen as a potential Plan B after the Gunners were unable to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk this month. The Ukrainian winger joined Chelsea after the Blues gazumped negotiations between Shakhtar Donetsk and Mikel Arteta’s outfit.
Diaby has been named as one of the alternatives on Arsenal’s shortlist and German outlet SPORT have claimed that the Gunners are very interested in the Frenchman, while there have been initial talks between the two clubs.
However, the Bundesliga side are insistent that they do not want to sell their star man and have slapped a £65million price tag on the 23-year-old, excluding large bonuses that would drive the cost of the deal up higher.
The Gunners may have found a cut-price option though as transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has claimed that talks have begun to sign Leandro Trossard from Brighton. Personal terms have already been agreed upon ahead of a potential move this month, as Arsenal are set to make an official bid for the Belgian.
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Trossard had been a key player when Graham Potter was in charge of the south coast club, but the 28-year-old has fallen out of favour with Roberto De Zerbi and recently left the country as he was not named in recent squads. He reportedly was available for £25m as his contract is up at the end of the season, though Brighton do have an option to extend his current deal by a further year.
A fee between the two clubs has not been agreed, however, which could cause Arsenal a similar problem as they have dealt with from Barcelona regarding Raphinha and now Leverkusen over Diaby. A disappointing campaign sees Leverkusen currently 12th in the Bundesliga table and they will want to keep their best players and hope to get into contention for Europe next season, making a summer deal more possible should Arsenal be prepared to wait patiently for their man.
Arsenal’s issue is that they would like to bolster their forward line in January in order to help Arteta continue pushing at the top end of the Premier League table. The Gunners are eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City, but there have been concerns over the lack of quality in depth at the Emirates.
Mudryk had been earmarked as the player that could help Arsenal in January, while there have been concerns that a backup plan for Barcelona winger Raphinha will not materialise as the Spanish giants have demanded an £85m fee for the former Leeds man, who himself is not keen on a move back to England.
The problem is that with the club publicly prepared to break their transfer record on Mudryk, teams such as Leverkusen and Brighton are aware that Arteta’s side have around £80m to spend on a forward this summer and could demand a similar fee in any negotiations.
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