Arsenal have seemingly been given a lift in their chase for a winger ‘a lot of scouts’ are currently tracking after talk of Newcastle making offers for the player over the summer was completely ruled out.
Bayer Leverkusen star Moussa Diaby is being strongly tipped to make a move to the Premier League and is being watched closely by a number of clubs, including the Gunners and Eddie Howe’s big-spending Magpies.
Newcastle’s interest over the summer was thought to be concrete, as Howe continues to revamp his squad. However, Leverkusen’s managing director of sport, Simon Rolfes, states that no firm offers ever came in for the attacker.
Diaby had 32 goal contributions last season, which prompted significant interest in his services. But Leverkusen’s £60million valuation, given that the player still has three years left on his contract, meant an exit over the summer was always unlikely.
That could all change in the summer of 2023 though, with the Gunners currently sitting top of the table and the Toon pushing for a top-four spot.
World Cup concerns in mind of Arsenal, Newcastle target
Another reason for Diaby not moving over the summer was the fear of him missing out on a World Cup spot by swapping leagues.
Ironically, the winger was left out of the French squad last month due to Leverkusen’s current Bundesliga struggles.
The German side replaced Gerardo Seoane with former Liverpool midfielder Marcos Alonso recently and that sparked an immediate upturn for Leverkusen and Diaby, who scored twice in a 4-0 win over Schalke last week.
Rolfes is a big fan of Diaby and is determined not to lose the talented forward.
And he admits the club will do all they can to keep him, amid significant interest.
Diaby a diamond for Leverksuen
Rolfe told the Daily Express: “For sure, we want to keep Moussa for as long as possible.
“I know a lot of scouts have been sitting on our tribune during our matches. It’s because we have a lot of interesting, exciting young players with high potential.
“So, it’s the same as [Patrik] Schick. We did not receive any offers for him but we are not even looking for that at the moment. We wanted to keep him and play Champions League football with him this season.”
Arsenal are back in Europa League action on Thursday night when they head to Bodo/Glimt. A Premier League clash at Leeds then follows on Sunday.
As for Newcastle, Howe’s men will play Manchester United at Old Trafford on the same day.