Arsenal transfer news: Fekir not for sale, shrewd Dortmund raid and more - 17th November 2017
Lyon president insists Nabil Fekir is not for sale
The Frenchman has been heavily linked to Arsenal in recent weeks, with reports even claiming that the Gunners were in an advanced stage in terms of negotiations. Further, Fekir was touted to be a replacement for the departing Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. As a result, the London club were set to break their transfer record to complete the £60 million deal.
Now, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has squashed the rumours regarding the player's sale. The club supremo told SFR Sport:
"Will Fekir be at the club after the winter transfer window? Of course.And nothing says that he will leave at the end of the season either. ‘He is under contract [until 2020] and likes playing for Lyon very much.He’s enjoying a period of success football-wise, but also in terms of management as he’s the captain of a Lyon team who has got itself back on track – and that’s also thanks to him.’
When Aulas was asked regarding the chances of Fekir donning the French club's colours for the 2018/19 season, he said:
Of course, he has a very good chance of being at Lyonnais. He’s a symbol. ‘In between times, there is the World Cup. If France makes the final and he scores the winning goal, of course he’ll get offers. But we will do everything to get Nabil to stay. And I think he wants to.’
Thus, the club president did not rule out a move directly for the player in the summer and Arsenal can prise away the 24-year old, especially if they qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal set to obtain Borussia Dortmund's Sven Mislintat
The Borussia Dortmund head scout is called 'Diamond Eye' for a reason and the Gunners are looking to replace the incumbent Steve Rowley with the German, as per Get German Football News. Rowley is set to leave the club after nearly 35 years and the club hierarchy thinks Mislintat is the right man to take up the role.
Mislintat joined Dortmund in 2009 and has been responsible for helping the Bundesliga side obtain some of the best players in the world at a young age. Dortmund's head scout is credited with bringing the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele to the club.
Such is his reputation that Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich tried to sign him a couple of seasons ago but to no avail. Further, the differences between Thomas Tuchel and Mislintat were pivotal in the former losing his job, highlighting the importance placed on the head scout.
If Arsenal indeed go ahead and complete the transfer, then the Gunners can expect a steady increase in the quality of players in the coming seasons.
Barcelona eyeing Ozil as Coutinho's alternative
The Catalan club have been trying to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool since the summer with the Merseyside club rejecting all three bids for the Brazilian. Barcelona are, however, expected to return for the player in the upcoming transfer windows. Nevertheless, the deal could still prove difficult to complete and will definitely cost more than £100 million.
Thus, Ernesto Valverde has picked out an alternative in case the the club fails to sign Coutinho. It is none other than Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, as per Mundo Deportivo. The World Cup winner's contract is set to expire in the summer and with fewer chances of renewing, the German could be available for a cut-price deal in January.
While Arsenal will find it difficult to replace a player of Ozil's quality, there is no doubt that they would prefer selling the player to a foreign club than to domestic rivals Manchester United, who are reportedly interested in the player.