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Arsenal interested in French midfielder: Reports

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta
ANALYST
Modified 27 Mar 2021
Rumors

Arsenal, who are preparing to inject a shot of creativity into their squad this summer, have reportedly turned their attention to Real Betis midfielder Nabil Fekir.

According to Sport Witness via Estadio Deportivo, the Gunners are eager to bring the Frenchman to the Emirates. That is significant in the wake of rumours that the chances of securing Martin Odegaard on a permanent deal from Real Madrid could be slim.

Arsenal, looking to add a creative midfielder to fill the void of Mesut Ozil, believe Fekir could be an ideal fit in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

The Frenchman made a name for himself during his time at Lyon. Liverpool failed to secure his signature in the summer of 2018 before Fekir joined Real Betis a year later. Since then, the Frenchman has been in blistering form and has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool. Recent reports have included Arsenal in that list too.

The Gunners brought in Odegaard as a replacement for Ozil, and the Norwegian has hit the ground running at the Emirates.

Arsenal were eager to seal a permanent deal with Real Madrid for the Norwegian at the end of the season. But Los Blancos are not ready to sell their prized asset. So the Gunners have turned their attention elsewhere.

Even though Arsenal were previously interested in Houssem Aouar, it now appears that the Premier League side have identified his former teammate Fekir as the man for the job.

However, Arsenal could face stiff competition from Barcelona for Nabil Fekir's signature.

The Blaugrana are also looking ahead at a summer of rebuilding under new president Joan Laporta. The La Liga giants are set to revamp their squad after failing to impress in Europe in recent seasons. So their interest in Fekir could be disconcerting for Arsenal.

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Nabil Fekir’s €90m release clause could be a problem for Arsenal

Nabil Fekir (right)
Nabil Fekir (right)

Both Arsenal and Barcelona might be inconvenienced by Real Betis’ current valuation of the player.

Fekir currently has a €90m release clause in his contract, and that could pose a problem for both clubs. The Gunners do not have the funds to finance such a deal, but the Blaugrana are cash-strapped. So it remains to be seen whether Real Betis are willing to accept a lower bid for their star man.

Nabil Fekir has recently signed with Promoesport, an agency based out of Catalonia, to avoid a repeat of the Liverpool debacle. Whether that would give Barcelona an edge over Arsenal in his pursuit remains to be seen, though.

Published 27 Mar 2021, 23:47 IST
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