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Arsenal are ‘willing’ obliterate their previous transfer record in trying to buy Christopher Nkunku, according to reports. The Gunners are in desperate need of attacking reinforcements this summer after allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to leave the club.
Eddie Nketiah is also set to become a free agent this summer, meaning Mikel Arteta may not have a recognised central striker in his squad. Gabriel Jesus has emerged as the club’s top target with Manchester City reportedly hoping for £50million.
The Brazilian’s representatives have held talks with Arsenal and he is said to “like the project” at the Emirates. But it’s very possible Arsenal will sign two attackers this summer to help provide competition for places.
Nkunku is seen as one of the best young attackers in world football and has attracted plenty of interest following his displays for RB Leipzig last season. The Frenchman was largely used as a central midfielder during his time with Paris Saint-Germain, but has been deployed further forward since moving to the Bundesliga in 2019.
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But last season proved to be his breakout year in front of goal with Nkunku scoring an incredible 35 goals in all competitions, including seven in just six Champions League games. He made headlines around the world when he scored a hat-trick against Manchester City back in September.
Arsenal are now among the clubs hoping to prise him away from Leipzig, but the forward won’t come cheap. According to The Independent, Leipzig have set their asking price at a whopping £100million.
That kind of money has already put off the likes of Manchester United, but Arsenal “would be willing to go to £100m”. If Arsenal meet Leipzig’s valuation, that would smash their previous transfer record of £72m spent on Nicolas Pepe.
The Gunners have had mixed success on big-money signings with Pepe far from living up to his record price-tag. Aubameyang was a regular source of goals following his £56m move from Borussia Dortmund while Ben White also impressed in his debut campaign.
Big fees were also spent on the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka with the jury still out on the latter. But Arsenal have already seen rivals Tottenham make moves this summer to try and close the gap at the top of the table.
Both Chelsea and United are also expected to spend while Liverpool and Manchester City have already made their moves to sign world class forwards in Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland respectively.
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