Premier League • England

Liverpool, Arsenal blown away as target’s ‘most significant’ suitor hatches tempting plan

Jose Fonte, Sven Botman and Jonathan David

Real Madrid are reportedly the “most significant” suitor for in-demand Lille striker Jonathan David, who has also been linked with the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal.

Jonathan David is one of the most wanted strikers playing in Europe at present. His goals helped Lille to the Ligue 1 title last season, halting PSG’s dominance. As such, the Canada international remains on the radar of several clubs Lille beat to get his signature in the first place.

Turning 22 in January, he could soon be ready for the next step in his promising career. The Premier League has long seemed like a potential destination for the forward.

His agent has done little to quieten down any exit rumours recently. Nick Mavromaras told Radio Canada: “For us, the goal is to finish the season in Lille. But it will be his last season there for several reasons.

“I think the Premier League is a great option for him. I think he likes Spain a lot too because he likes the feeling of the ball and the very technical players.

“These two leagues are a big priority for him. But nothing is excluded. You never know, with Paris Saint-Germain or the big Italian clubs.

“It’s normal that all these big clubs are interested in the top scorer in Ligue 1. But I can tell you that today, there is no official offer.”

David has been quite strongly linked with Liverpool, who are looking to protect the potency of their attack for the long term as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – all still elite options – enter their 30s.

Arsenal have also been mentioned as suitors, given that there are doubts over the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he lost the captaincy. Besides, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are out of contract in 2022 as well.

West Ham in talks with Lille for Liverpool target Jonathan David

West Ham have reportedly opened talks with Lille striker Jonathan David, who’s also a target for Liverpool.

But as Mavromaras alluded to, David could end up playing in La Liga. And according to Marca, Real Madrid are now in pole position for his signature.

The Spanish newspaper claims Carlo Ancelotti sees David as a “promising talent” who would be a welcome addition to his squad.

Madrid want to strengthen in attack for 2022, by which time veteran Karim Benzema will have only a year left on his contract. Their primary target is Kylian Mbappe, but David is currently outscoring the PSG star in Ligue 1 this season.

That said, they are hoping Mbappe will be available as a free agent since his contract expires in 2022. David is on a deal with Lille until 2025, so would come with a high price tag.

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Real Madrid trying to set up Jonathan David swap deal


But Madrid feel they have a way of lowering it. According to Marca, they could send Eden Hazard back to his former club as a makeweight.

Hazard has struggled to live up to expectations since a long-awaited transfer from Chelsea to Real in 2019. Injuries have hampered his progress and he has just five goals for the club to his name still.

Due to his high wages and the fact he is about to turn 31, Madrid are now looking to offload him. It may be a struggle finding a suitor willing to accommodate him, though.

Yet there could be an emotional return to Lille if Los Blancos can orchestrate the deal they want. In fact, Lille are also supposedly “keen” on the idea of taking Hazard back to France.

The Belgium international previously played for them between 2007 and 2012 before earning his move to Chelsea, where he cemented his reputation as a world star.

Those days are sadly behind him now, whereas David seems to have many big years ahead of him. Madrid will be eager to make sure they benefit, while Lille could get a deal that appeases them too.

Should the deal go through, with or without Hazard in return, it would be an obvious blow to David’s Premier League suitors, also trying to take advantage of his clear potential.

Since his move from Genk in 2020, David has scored 29 goals in 75 appearances. For his previous club, he managed 37 in 83.

At international level, he has 18 goals from 24 caps for Canada.

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