Arsenal could have the upper hand over Manchester United in the chase for a La Liga star amid claims Mikel Arteta is willing to use a ‘secret weapon’.
Arsenal took their unbeaten Premier League run to 11 games on Tuesday night by drawing 0-0 with Newcastle. The Gunners dominated for large periods of the match but could not quite find a winner.
Newcastle defended well and also showed off plenty of tactics to wind the clock down, which angered Arteta. The Arsenal boss was also left fuming when VAR refused to give a penalty for a handball late on, though it would have been a harsh decision.
Despite two points being dropped, Arteta and Arsenal must try and look at the positives. They remain top of the table and have an eight-point lead on second-placed Manchester City. Although, Pep Guardiola and co. do have a game in hand.
Arsenal are next in action on Monday night when they travel to Oxford United in the third round of the FA Cup. After that, it is the north London derby with Tottenham on January 15.
Eddie Nketiah performed well for Arsenal against Newcastle, but ultimately he could not hand them all three points by finding the back of the net. Arteta seems to trust the 23-year-old, but he could probably do with a better goalscorer arriving at the Emirates to help Arsenal’s title charge.
Several strikers have been linked with the club, including Juventus ace Dusan Vlahovic, Montpellier youngster Elye Wahi and Joao Felix of Atletico Madrid.
This update concerns the latter. Now, some Arsenal fans will definitely have reservations about the club landing Felix.
Arsenal in good position to sign Portugal man
He tends to manage around 10 goals a season for Atleti, so is not really a huge step up from Nketiah in terms of goalscoring. Plus, he has struggled to have the desired impact at Atleti after costing them a whopping £113m in 2019.
Nevertheless, Arsenal are one of the ‘best-placed clubs’ – alongside Man Utd – to capture the Portuguese this month.
Arteta must feel he can get the best out of Felix and make him a real threat in front of goal. And now a report has revealed a clever strategy to get to the signing before Man Utd.
According to The Athletic, Arteta has asked midfielder Thomas Partey to contact Felix and convince him on moving to Arsenal. Partey and Felix know each other from their time together at Atleti.
Partey is apparently the ‘secret weapon’ Arsenal have up their sleeve to sign Felix. They hope his presence will see Man Utd miss out.
It is unknown how the 23-year-old has responded to Partey’s approaches. But it could just work as Felix would immediately have a friend at Arsenal, should he choose to go there.
The Athletic recently provided some detail on how Arsenal plan to sign Felix, too. Diego Simeone’s side are currently demanding a total loan package worth €21m (£18.5m), which Arsenal see as being too high.
As such, Gunners sporting director Edu is willing to play the waiting game. He will not move for Felix until the end of the January window, when Atleti might get desperate and reduce their demands.
Once again, this is an intelligent ploy from those at Arsenal. The only trouble is that it may allow Man Utd to race in and get Felix first.
Meanwhile, there has been a double update on Mykhaylo Mudryk’s transfer, with Arsenal facing a serious threat to land him.
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