Kai Havertz moving to Arsenal has ‘unsettled’ a forward already at the club, and West Ham are one of three London sides now on ‘red alert’, per a report.
Havertz, 24, is on the cusp of completing a £65m move across London from Chelsea to Arsenal. The Germany international has agreed personal terms with the Gunners and will undergo a medical at some stage this weekend. All being well, Havertz will officially be announced as a new Arsenal player early next week.
But according to the Independent, Havertz’s arrival is primed to see one of Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun axed.
The pair are both homegrown and coming off the back of impressive campaigns. Nketiah provided excellent cover while Gabriel Jesus was sidelined through knee surgery, while Balogun plundered 21 goals in Ligue 1 while loaned to French side Reims.
However, with Gabriel Jesus the undisputed first choice and Havertz better suited to playing centrally than out wide, one of Nketiah and Balogun will make way.
Now, according to a fresh update from the Sun, the unlucky star may well be Nketiah.
Indeed, the newspaper claim Nketiah, 24, ‘has been left unsettled by the impending arrival of Kai Havertz’.
Nketiah looks destined to tumble another notch down the pecking order and with his gametime under a new and even greater threat, a move across London is possible.
West Ham, Crystal Palace and Fulham are all described as being on ‘red alert’. The chance to sign Nketiah would’ve otherwise been unthinkable if the Havertz deal weren’t taking place.
Nketiah mulling Arsenal exit
A source is quoted as telling the Sun: “Eddie’s at a key stage in his career. He feels he’s now proved he can score goals at the highest level and the next step is to be playing week in week out.
“But the fact the club has decided to invest so heavily in another striker has left Eddie wondering if he really has a future at the club.
“There would certainly be no shortage of takers if he were to push for a move. Crystal Palace and West Ham are both near the front of the queue.
“Both clubs lack a 20-goal-a-season man which Nketiah believes he can be in the Premier League.”
The Sun clarified that Arsenal are in ‘no rush’ to push Nketiah out. However, if the Independent are correct, it’s a straight shoot-out between he and Balogun as to who is ousted once Havertz signs.
The Sun’s source added: “Mikel Arteta rates Eddie very highly.
“Now they are in the Champions League he thinks the club needs at least three top strikers which is why he was so keen to bring in Kai Havertz, a player with proven Premier League and European experience.
“Arteta may also play with two up front more often next season so he wants to have more options at his disposal.
“Eddie will need to be patient and it will come down to whether he’s prepared to do that or not.”