Arsenal: Arteta is ‘crazy’ about 20-year-old Ligue 1 striker having worse season than Balogun
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly ‘crazy’ about Montpellier striker Elye Wahi, despite the fact he already has Folarin Balogun on the club’s books.
Wahi, 20, has an impressive 17 goals and six assists in 31 Ligue 1 appearances this season.
The Frenchman put in a fantastic performance against Lyon earlier this month, scoring four goals in a dramatic 5-4 defeat.
His fine form has caught the attention of several big clubs, with French outlet Foot Mercato saying Arsenal are one of six clubs interested in signing the youngster this summer.
The report says the Gunners, Newcastle United, AS Monaco, Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig are all ‘crazy’ about Wahi.
Montpellier president Laurent Nicollin will try to get every last penny for his prized asset, with a transfer fee of €40million expected to be enough.
Arsenal have been ‘following’ the player ‘for many months’ and Newcastle are ‘also very interested’ with it now ‘unlikely he will stay in Ligue 1’.
The report might say that €40m would get you Wahi, but Nicollin has recently told L’Equipe that he would cost €60m if he was Marseille’s No. 9, not Montpellier’s.
The club president also revealed that he rejected a €25m bid from an English club in the January transfer window.
He said: “It’s a logical conclusion that players formed at the club eventually leave their cocoon. (But) the aim is for everyone to be a winner.
“We have discussions with his agents and will open the door if we get the desired amount. Otherwise, he’ll be here for another season.
“In January, I refused 25 million euros, plus bonuses, from an English club. There are a lot of interested clubs. I think that, if Elye Wahi was the Marseille striker, he’d be worth 60 million euros!
“He’s destined to play in very big European clubs because he has the potential.”
Arsenal’s links to Wahi are quite confusing given the fact they already have Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah at the club with Balogun enjoying a terrific loan spell with French side Stade Reims.
Balogun has 19 goals in 34 Ligue 1 appearances this season with his future at the Emirates very much in doubt.
He is unlikely to be happy being the third or second choice under Arteta and could ask to leave with AC Milan among the clubs interested in signing him.
It would make a lot more sense for Arsenal to save €40m by keeping hold of Balogun instead of splashing out on Wahi, especially given he is younger and has more league goals this season.
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The article Arsenal: Arteta is ‘crazy’ about 20-year-old Ligue 1 striker having worse season than Balogun appeared first on Football365.com.