Arsenal bid for World Cup stand-out rejected, as path clears for Liverpool to take a punt

Cody Gakpo dribbling away from Yunus Musah

Arsenal have seen a bid for a World Cup stand-out who holds an almighty release clause rejected, thus opening the door for Liverpool to try their hand after contacting the player’s representatives last week, per reports.

A mid-season World Cup grants club managers a unique opportunity to get a different look at their targets. Signings in the January window would normally be determined by a player’s form for their club, though stellar displays in Qatar are emboldening clubs to act based on their international exploits.

Cody Gakpo is one such player who could secure a move on the back of his outstanding form for the Netherlands. However, today’s update regards USA midfielder Yunus Musah.

The 20-year-old started all four matches for the USMNT in Qatar. He formed a solid midfield foundation alongside Leeds Utd’s Tyler Adams and Tottenham target Weston McKennie.

Musah plies his trade at club level for Valencia having joined the Spanish side from Arsenal in 2019. Musah was on the Gunners’ books between 2012-19, though never broke through into the first-team while there.

His sale is increasingly looking like a misjudgement from Arsenal. Indeed, Musah has quickly established himself as a regular at the Mestalla and already has 23 caps for the USA to his name.

The Gunners have long been linked with reinforcements in central midfield in 2023. Leicester’s Youri Tielemans and Danilo of Palmeiras are believed to be on their radar as they seek to enforce their ranks ahead of a renewed title charge.

However, Musah too has come into focus of late, and Italian outlet FCInterNews report they’ve acted on their interest.

Arsenal bid rejected

Their report stems from Inter Milan’s interest in the American, and claims Arsenal have seen a proposal knocked back.

Details beyond that vague claim are scarce, though a few things about Musah are known.

Firstly, his deal at Valencia contains a whopping €100million (approx. £86m) release clause. Secondly, Arsenal’s bid fell well below that figure.

Thirdly, Liverpool have also been linked with the midfielder after 90min reported they’d made contact with the player’s camp last week.

Musah signing could dovetail with Bellingham plans?

Musah is clearly a player on the rise and in-demand, though it seems highly unlikely anyone will activate his release clause at this stage in his career.

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal return with a raised bid for their former academy star. If they don’t, the path will be clear for Liverpool to try their luck.

The Reds’ primary midfield target is Jude Bellingham. The latest reports claim Jurgen Klopp’s side are the current frontrunners having put in the most legwork behind the scenes.

However, with so many of their midfield stars over 30, such as Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Thiago Alcantara, it stands to reason a second arrival could be sanctioned.

Given how much Bellingham is likely to cost – potentially £130m – a second arrival would need to budget-friendly. Musah could fit that bill – if Valencia can be convinced to sell, of course.

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