Arsenal want to complete the signing of Nabil Fekir before the World Cup in Russia starts on 14 June and they are prepared to pay €50m to make that happen according to reports.
Earlier in the week, Fekir’s agent opened the door for his client to leave when he told the media, “If at the end of the season, which is not the case today, we have to make a decision, then we will sit down with the president and find the right solution.
“I respect Lyon first and foremost. We will not go wild after a confrontation. Nabil is in a great French club, if not the biggest.
“If someday we left Lyon, the club where it was formed, to whom we owe everything, we will leave in good condition. Nabil has the personal goal of being part of one of the 10 best clubs in Europe .”
Arsenal have been after the 24-year-old for a while now however it had all gone quiet on that front before exploding back into life this week.
Fekir is certainly a massive talent, and we know he has some interest in Arsenal. In December, he named the club among a list of six teams he’d like to go to. That wasn’t the first time the two have been linked either.
In 2015, his father told reporters: “If [Fekir] leaves, it will be for Arsenal. It’s the only club that can enable him to progress, with Arsene Wenger.”
Still, I’m not sure why he would be a priority signing for Wenger.
In January, the Frenchman was touted as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil. Given his form and the similarity of his position on the pitch, that made sense. Some publications even claimed Arsenal had pretty much agreed a deal with Lyon for his transfer.
Now, Arsenal have replaced Sanchez with Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Meanwhile, Mesut Özil signed a new deal to stay at the club, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined to add a few more goals.
At this stage, there isn’t much room in the attacking midfield department, and little need for an Özil/Sanchez replacement. The Frenchman is a few years younger than Arsenal’s current front three, but spending so much on a player for the future, in a position where the squad is already strong, seems like an odd strategy with so much else in the team needing attention.
The club arguably have much bigger issues in defence, goal and defensive midfield. That’s where their focus should be this summer.
Fekir is under contract until 2020 and his current market value is in the region of £45m.