Arsenal remain firmly in pursuit of Moussa Diaby with a report claiming the Gunners are preparing a massive opening offer to tempt Bayer Leverkusen into his sale.
The France winger is emerging as the Gunners last big-money target of the summer window. Mikel Arteta and Co have welcomed five new signings this summer already, with Olekdandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus costing a combined £78m from Manchester City. And with Fabio Vieira another expensive addition, the Gunners have lavished well over £100m this summer once again.
However, Arsenal’s spending is unlikely to end there and the club want two more signings before the window closes. First up, will be a new midfielder with Youri Tielemans still being strongly linked with a move to Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners, though, also want to add more goals from the wing. To that end, they were one of several sides looking to snare Raphinha from Leeds earlier this summer.
Arsenal’s pursuit for the Brazilian ultimately failed with the winger always making clear his wish to join Barcelona. To that end, Edu has come clean on their failed pursuit for the former Rennes and Sporting Lisbon man.
The Gunners are quickly moving on from missing out on Raphinha, however. And to that end, a report on Saturday revealed the Gunners were exploring the possibility of a move for Moussa Diaby.
The 23-year-old star has emerged as one of the outstanding talents in the Bundesliga in recent seasons. He has an excellent 35 goals and 34 assists in 135 appearances for Bayer. Carrying their creative mantle since Kai Havertz’s move to Chelsea, Diaby is the club’s most prized asset.
As such, it’s little surprise to see the Bundesliga side in no rush to sell the player.
Arsenal readying giant offer for Moussa Diaby
However, money talks and Arsenal believe they have a chance of securing his signing. To that end, Gunners owner Stan Kroenke has reportedly given Edu permission to launch an offensive to bring him to Emirates Stadium.
As such, the Gunners are reportedly preparing an opening offer of around £60m to twist Leverkusen’s arm.
His contract still has three years remaining, so Bayer are under no pressure to sell the winger.
Explaining Arsenal’s stance, however, Fabrizio Romano claims he is a player of long-standing interest to Arteta and Edu.
“Arsenal were in for Raphinha earlier this summer and have been considering alternatives since he joined Barcelona instead,” Romano told Caught Offside.
Romano, though, does not think Bayer want to sell and Arsenal face a tough task talking them into a deal.
“Moussa Diaby has long been on Edu and Mikel Arteta’s list. But Bayer Leverkusen insist they don’t want to sell him this summer, it has never been an easy deal.”
Romano added: “The Frenchman was also a popular target for the Newcastle board, but things never progressed.”
Diaby fits the bill for Arsenal
You have to admire Arsenal’s ambition in the market. The Gunners looked strong in their opening match of the season on Friday, attacking with purpose and defending staunchly when required.
And if there is one weakness in their system, it’s a lack of goals from the wings. That said, Gabriel Martinelli, playing off the left, did his best to redress that balance with the Gunners’ opener at Selhurst Park.
Bukayo Saka always looks dangerous playing off the right wing, but have cover and competition for both remains an issue. And that’s where Diaby could come in.
He’s been one of the Bundesliga’s most dangerous wide men in recent seasons. His record of a goal involvement every 1.95 games is simply phenomenal – and £60m certainly seems a fair reflection of that.
What are Arsenal's aspirations for the season ahead?
What are the minimum targets Mikel Arteta is aiming to hit with Arsenal this season?
But at 23 he’s a player who can only get better. To that end, his age and profile fits in perfectly with the transfer demographic Arsenal are looking to attract.
He would also prove a massive upgrade on Nicolas Pepe, who has been a massive disappointment in his three seasons so far.