Arsenal Keeping Close Eye on £26m Nabil Fekir
According to reports, Arsenal are closely monitoring Nabil Fekir’s situation at Real Betis. It is believed Edu and Arteta view the Frenchman as a possible alternative to Martin Ødegaard, should they be unable to make his loan move permanent in the summer.
Fekir has been on the Gunner’s radar for quite some time, having registered their interest in the French international before he moved from Lyon to Real Betis in 2019. The Fekir reports come days after the North London outfit were linked with Real Betis duo Emerson Royal (on loan from Barcelona) and Guido Rodríguez. With Arsenal looking to bring in another attacking midfielder in the upcoming window, could Nabil Fekir be the answer?
Right now, Arsenal’s primary focus is to find a way to make Martin Ødegaard’s loan move permanent. As it stands, the Norwegian is due to head back to the Spanish capital once his current loan deal expires. Arsenal do not have a clause in the deal to make the 23 year-old’s move permanent, but have agreed with Real Madrid to discuss the situation in the summer. Edu will be hoping that good relations with Los Blancos from Dani Ceballos’ negotiations will come in handy in June. However, it is reported that Real Madrid see Martin Ødegaard as a key part of their future plans, and will be unwilling to let the player leave on a permanent deal this summer.
Should this be the case, Arsenal will switch their attention to Betis midfielder, Nabil Fekir. The 27 year-old built his reputation at boyhood side, Lyon, where he scored 69 goals in 193 games for the club, racking up 46 assists in the process. His impressive performances caught the eye of those at Anfield, with a deal for the France international falling through at the last minute. Fekir has spent the last two seasons at Real Betis, providing 23 goal contributions in 57 La Liga appearances (10 goals, 13 assists).
With Arsenal facing a battle to qualify for European competition next season, is Fekir an affordable move? The 27 year-old has two years left on his Betis contract, which has a release clause of £77 million. At that price, Arsenal could not even afford half of Fekir. But according to Goal, Betis will be forced to sell some players this summer due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the Spanish club will be looking for a much reduced price of £26 million – a fee much closer to what the Gunners would be willing to spend.
Arsenal’s clear attacking midfielder priority is to make Ødegaard’s move permanent. The 23 year-old has hit the ground running in North London, putting in a string of fine displays as Arsenal’s main creative force. Currently on international duty with Norway, the midfielder described Arteta as an “amazing” coach, while saying he has “felt at home since the first day” at the Emirates. These are positive comments for Arsenal fans to hear, who remain hopeful for a permanent move in the summer.
However, should Zidane block a permanent switch for the Norwegian, Arteta will have to turn his attention elsewhere. Nabil Fekir is the latest attacking midfielder to be linked with a move to the Emirates this summer. But Houssem Aouar and Emi Buendía rumours will not go away.
Whoever it will be, a busy transfer window awaits for Edu and co.
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