Arsenal transfer nightmare becoming a reality as likeliest move becomes clear
Arsenal are staring down the barrel of a transfer nightmare after the likeliest next move for striker Eddie Nketiah became clear, per a report.
Nketiah, 22, is out of contract in the summer. The striker has rarely been afforded the opportunity to impose himself in the Arsenal first eleven. Nonetheless, his age and undoubted potential combine to make him a very valuable asset.
Sky Sports state Mikel Arteta is keen to see the forward extend his stay in north London. But at present, there has been no indication Nketiah is likely to pen fresh terms at the Emirates.
As such, and to avoid losing Nketiah for free in the summer, talk of a January sale had been touted.
Crystal Palace and Aston Villa have both been credited with interest. Villa’s sanctioning of Cameron Archer’s loan switch to Preston was believed to be a sign Steven Gerrard was eyeing a late addition in his forward line.
Palace, meanwhile, have generated the most concrete interest. Led by Gunners legend Patrick Vieira, the Eagles were rumoured to be mulling a cut-price permanent raid.
While Nketiah’s true value wouldn’t be offered given his contract status, a permanent switch would ensure Arsenal were able to generate some form of fee.
Fog clears on Nketiah future
But per Sky Sports, Palace now appear content to chance their arm in the summer – if Nketiah is still available.
They report Vieira is ‘happy and relaxed’ regarding the current attacking options at his disposal. Jean-Philippe Mateta is expected to remain on loan until the end of the season, while Wilfried Zaha will soon return from AFCON.
Christian Benteke, Odsonne Edouard and Jordan Ayew are also on the books, giving Vieira plenty to choose from.
As such, Palace may shelve their interest until the summer and target a free agent pick-up. However, Nketiah may have already agreed a move to Germany by then.
Sky add that Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach are sniffing a pre-contract agreement with Nketiah. If signed, it would be the pre-cursor to a free agent deal when the season concludes.
Only overseas clubs can forge such an agreement, hence why Palace were eyeing a cut-price permanent deal this month.
Regardless, with Palace’s interest now waning, it appears Nketiah is destined to depart Arsenal for nothing next summer.
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Twist of fate sees Arsenal striker options shrink again
Meanwhile, Arsenal will not be signing Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic before the end of the January transfer window as originally hoped, according to a report.
Dusan Vlahovic was the most widely-reported target for the London club. However, the Fiorentina man is edging towards a move across Italy with Juventus.
As such, Real Sociedad’s Isak was next on the list. Although, he reportedly has no intention of leaving his La Liga employers before the summer. He also has a €70million (£58million) release clause. Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin has also been touted, but prising him away from Goodison Park will be an almighty struggle.
Real striker Jovic – a Serbia team-mate of Vlahovic’s – is a fourth player Arsenal have therefore been looking at.
Jovic had been tipped to leave, though Karim Benzema suffered a hamstring injury in Madrid’s last game, a 2-2 draw with Elche on Sunday.
As a result, Marca reports that Los Blancos are now unwilling to let Jovic leave. They were previously open to offers for the player, but he is now of greater importance in the team.
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