Premier League • England

Arsenal directly named, with Arteta warned transfer target’s price will soon skyrocket

Feyenoord playmaker Orkun Kokcu

The cost of signing long-term Arsenal target Orkun Kokcu could soon hit ‘€50m-€60m’, and the Gunners have somewhat disparagingly been namechecked in the Dutch media.

The Daily Mail recently suggested Arsenal will have trouble landing their top targets without the lure of Champions League football. The Gunners haven’t played in that competition since 2017, and are facing an uphill struggle to qualify for next season’s iteration.

The future of Bukayo Saka could also sway on whether a top four finish is secured. Another Europa League campaign – or worse – looks like it will disrupt the ambition of their summer plans.

As such, Arsenal may be forced into more moves for up-and-coming players who haven’t yet reached their peak. That strategy was evident last summer when signing six first-teamers all aged 24 or under.

One long-time Arsenal target who would fit that fill is Feyenoord’s Orkun Kokcu.

The 21-year-old Turkey international plays primarily as an attacking central midfielder. He is on an upward trajectory in Rotterdam, and the Dutch media have begun to speculate whether he will still be in the Eredivisie beyond the summer.

Kokcu ideal for “sub-top” Arsenal

In the fallout of Feyenoord’s 4-0 victory over Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday – in which Kokcu scored –  former Feyenoord striker Ali Boussaboun spoke on Dutch TV show FC Rijnmond about Kokcu’s future.

Via Sport Witness, Boussaboun claimed Kokcu is attracting plenty of ‘international’ attention. He also specifically named Arsenal as a “sub-top” club that would be a logical next step for Kokcu.

However, the former centre-forward warned that Kokcu’s price tag will soon soar if his current form persists.

Orkun Kokcu celebrating for Feyenoord

“Kökçü is also doing well internationally,” said Boussaboun.

“Perhaps not at the absolute top, but certainly at the sub-top. Clubs such as Arsenal. Kökcü may be worth 50 or 60 million later.

“He has so much energy now. You also see him sprinting back meters when losing the ball. He finally has the fitness that is needed and that is also a compliment to the staff.

Saka won’t stay at Arsenal unless Arsenal qualify for Champions League

Saka won’t stay at Arsenal unless Arsenal qualify for Champions League

Arsenal will struggle to keep Saka if they don’t qualify for Champions League football

“Because they are responsible for that plan. When you are 18 years old, you plays in Feyenoord 1 (first-team) and you train several times a week, then you think this is enough.

“Stefan de Vrij was also a little older when he decided to invest more in himself.”

Whether Arsenal’s interest in Kokcu is as strong as it once was remains to be seen. Emile Smith Rowe has burst onto the scene, while Martin Odegaard was signed permanently from Real Madrid last year.

Arsenal given ‘green light’ to sign Spurs target

Meanwhile, Arsenal are ‘taking a close look’ at Evan Ndicka after being given the go-ahead to sign the Tottenham target, though a move would likely see a current star sacrificed.

The Mirror (citing German publication Bild), reveal talks over a contract extension at Frankfurt are ‘stalling’.

Frankfurt are loathe to lose their star 22-year-old defender for free. As such, they will ‘look to sell their prized asset’ in the summer if a breakthrough in negotiations is not made.

The relatively small sum of £17.5m is touted as being required to seal a deal. PSG and Tottenham are noted admirers, but the article reckons it is Arsenal who are leading the chase.

The Mirror state Mikel Arteta’s side have been ‘given the green light’ to make their move. Arsenal are reportedly seeking a third reliable centre-half they can rotate with Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes. Takehiro Tomiyasu could fit the bill, though the Japanese ace has mainly been deployed at right-back so far.

Marseille loanee William Saliba could fill the void when he returns in the summer. Indeed, a recent Spanish report claimed Arteta had blocked interest from Spain in the Frenchman.

However, the Mirror reckon Saliba leaving for good is a distinct possibility when referencing reports touting a summer exit.

READ MORE: Arsenal facing bitter double transfer blow if Arteta can’t deliver one demand